Akurdi resident writes to MoEFCC to mandate aquatic toxicity in river

Neha Basudkar
Tuesday, 8 January 2019

According to Bora, the cause and largest source of river pollution is untreated sewage. Phosphorus or phosphate present in detergents used for cleaning purpose in the household is the main reason for water pollution. Since common people are not aware of this fact, unknowingly, they end up polluting rivers like Ganga, Yamuna, Mula and Pavana.

Pune: While cleaning Pavana river, a man from Walhekarwadi, Akurdi did research on the actual cause of river pollution and has recently sent a letter to the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) to mandate aquatic toxicity symbol on detergent packages to reduce river pollution.

From last one year, the residents of Walhekarwadi are dedicatedly cleaning the hyacinth from Pavana river. Ganesh Bora, one of the residents, thought of studying the actual cause of river pollution. 

According to Bora, the cause and largest source of river pollution is untreated sewage. Phosphorus or phosphate present in detergents used for cleaning purpose in the household is the main reason for water pollution. Since common people are not aware of this fact, unknowingly, they end up polluting rivers like Ganga, Yamuna, Mula and Pavana.

He further said, “In 1968, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, formulated scientific parameters for phosphate in cleansing agents back in 1968, which mentioned only the minimum level of phosphorus. Therefore, the detergent producers of India started adding 50 per cent of phosphorus in detergents. While in the United Kingdom and the United States, only 1 to 2 per cent of phosphorus is used in detergents.”

“Considering the importance of rivers and aquatic species, the Globally Harmonised System introduced the symbol for aquatic toxicity very recently but they failed to implement in India. Aquatic toxicity is defined as the study of the effects of a chemical substance to aquatic species which is usually determined on organisms representing the three trophic levels, i.e. vertebrates (fish), invertebrates (crustaceans as Daphnia) and plants (algae),” Bora added.

He has requested in his letter, that National Action Plan for Chemicals (NAPC) committee which was recently formed by the Government of India should mandate the aquatic toxicity symbol on detergents which includes the chemicals like phosphorus and the required amendments under labelling and packaging law for detergents to put the required aquatic toxicity symbol, caution, and message in their labelling. 

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