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The government has supported a bill of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine «On specifics of state regulation of management of synthetic detergents and household chemical goods», which prohibits the manufacture, import and sale of phosphate-based detergents in Ukraine, Information-analytical Bulletin of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine reads.
The document is developed based on experience in Europe and the United States. It proposes to phase out phosphates. Their mass share in household cleaning products should not exceed: 17% from Jan. 1, 2014, 10% from Jan. 1, 2016, 5% from Jan. 1, 2019 and 0.7% from January 1, 2021.
Over 7 years time, Ukraine will minimize production and distribution of phosphate-based household cleaning products and detergents.
According to Ministry of Economic Development, phosphates that migrate into environment from synthetic detergents, are one of the main causes for pollution of rivers, lakes, and seas, including drinking water sources. In addition, phosphates may provoke algal blooms, preventing air from getting into water, and killing fish and other water life.
Ukraine in recent years has increased use of chemical detergents, which leads to an increased concentration of phosphates in wastewater that comes to water treatment facilities. However, a treatment plant can not handle phosphates. Modernization of treatment facilities for phosphates control requires significant financial resources.
Phosphates adversely affect human health. They increase permeability of skin and enter the body, bypassing its protective barriers. Thus, the path is opened for other harmful substances contained in the environment, which previously could not get there (for example, heavy metal compounds).
Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said that approval of the phosphate bill shows Ukraine will go the same way as the United States, Canada, Germany, Italy, Austria, Holland and Norway. He also recalled that the relevant EU Directives defined phase-out of phosphates by Jan. 1, 2017. “The draft technical regulations of the Customs Union also provides for complete elimination of phosphates from detergents by 2020,” Azarov said.
According to the Ministry of Economic Development, eliminating phosphates from household cleaning products will allow Ukrainian businesses to expand sales of their products in the EU and the Customs Union, which currently includes Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.
It is of great importance for Ukraine, which seeks to develop mutually beneficial partnerships with the EU and the Commonwealth of Independent States.