Mon, Oct 23, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Cleansers threaten health

By Angelica Oung  /  STAFF REPORTER

Detergent bottles are displayed yesterday as representatives from the Environmental Quality Protection Foundation announce a recent test showing that 11 of 33 tested dish and laundry detergents and bathroom cleaners contained large amounts of a chemcial that has been shown to lower sperm counts in rats and fish due to its chemical similarity to estrogen.

PHOTO: GEORGE TSORNG, TAIPEI TIMES

A chemical surfactant contained in common household products could pose a grave threat to men's reproductive health, according to the Environmental Quality Protection Foundation.

"It's time for action," foundation chairman Liou Ming-lone (劉銘龍) said, referring to need to make the public aware of problems caused by cleansers containing nonyphenol.

Exposure to nonyphenol, or NP, has been shown to lower sperm counts in rats and fish due to its chemical similarity to estrogen, a release issued by the foundation said.

The foundation recently tested 33 dish and laundry detergents and bathroom cleaners commonly found on the shelves in Taiwan. Of the 33, 11 were found to contain non-ion surfactant nonyphenol polyethoxylate (NPnEO) in quantities ranging from 3.1 percent to 11.9 percent by mass. NPnEO is broken down to NP once it is released into the environment.

"Currently, there are no laws in Taiwan regarding NP," Liou said.

The foundation would not name the products that have been found to contain NPnEO, but said the list included "one dish detergent that is very popular among housewives."

However, a list of the products that have been found not to contain NPnEO has been made available on the foundation's Web site at envi.org.tw.

This story has been viewed 2548 times.
TOP top