Danish consumers urged to abandon chlorine

Environmental protection agency warns of pressure on treatment plants, domestic accidents

The Danish government has followed up last week's warning against antibacterial agents in household goods (ENDS Daily 26 October) with a campaign aimed at cutting the domestic use of chlorine products. According to the environmental protection agency (EPA), 4,000 tonnes of chlorine are used annually in household cleaning and washing, burdening wastewater treatment plants and causing a number of domestic accidents.

"Chlorine should be used to disinfect swimming halls and in the food industry", EPA spokesperson Lise Møller told Berlingske Tidende newspaper on Friday. "In private households you can certainly manage with ordinary cleansing agents and water."

Hanna Løyche of Colgate-Palmolive, manufacturer of the most popular chlorine products in Denmark, said: "Of course we are listening to the expression of concern by the authorities over the use of hypochlorite-based products in private homes; but we do not share that concern." However, the newspaper reported that the company had already launched an alternative product, "Klorin Lite," based on hydrogen peroxide, the active ingredient recommended by the EPA for use in domestic laundry.

Follow Up:
Danish EPA, tel: +45 32 66 01 00; Berlingske Tidende, tel: +45 33 75 75 33.

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