Edmonton detergent manufacturer penalized for high phosphorus levels

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

An Edmonton-based laundry detergent manufacturer was recently fined $600,000 for selling two commercial detergents (Zeplift and Classic TKO), which contained concentrations of phosphorus in excess of the allowable limit.

Commercial and industrial laundry detergents are restricted to no more than 2.2 per cent elemental phosphorus by weight. Phosphorus is an element commonly used in the manufacture of detergents and cleaners. When released into the environment it contributes to the over-fertilization of freshwater ecosystems and can result in the growth of harmful algal blooms in Canada’s lakes and rivers.

Acuity Holdings, Inc. plead guilty in the Provincial Court of Alberta to one count of contravening the Concentration of Phosphorus in Certain Cleaning Products Regulations under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999. The company manufactures and sells various cleaning products, including industrial and commercial laundry detergents, under the registered trade name Zep Manufacturing Company of Canada.

Environment and Climate Change Canada enforcement officers conducted the investigation. The fine will be directed to the Environmental Damages Fund.

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