Phosphate extraction for laundry causes pollution of air and water on Earth and especially in mining areas.
What is Phosphate-Free Lye?
The phosphate is used in cosmetics and detergent. Yet it is a miner that feeds the planet. It consists of a mixture of fish bones and bones of marine animals. So phosphate-free detergent is environmentally friendly.
How is Phosphate extracted from nature?
To release phosphate from the earth, miners use explosives that release clouds of toxic dusts that spread. This creates unprecedented air pollution.
Phosphate extraction and ecology
Phosphate arrives in millions of tons in phosphate laundries. These plants decompose the phosphate of its radioactive components such as cadmium and uranium, poured into the water. Water is drawn by millions of cubic meters in the subsoil of the water table, 24h / 24h. Then, they discharge the extremely polluted water containing the toxic residues that they have just extracted from the Phospate. The authorities do not treat the waters, there are mountains of chemical waste which cause a degradation of all the flora, necessary for grazing, in a region where grazing is important, as for example in Metlaoui in Tunisia. The region is now semi-desert, water is scarce and the subsoil is contaminated.
Phosphate-free laundry and the mining basin revolt
This pollution takes away the population, businesses, doctors and creates a crisis of employment. The country’s highest unemployment rate is in the mining area. For the first time in 2008, an unprecedented demonstration is organized by the inhabitants and miners of this disaster area, in this country ruled by an iron hand. The movement will be severely repressed, with face to face with the forces of order. Subsequently, other strikes blocked the mines every other day. Some customers of the Gafsa phosphate company have begun to turn to other suppliers, in Morocco or Saudi Arabia.
Phosphate and damage to health
Lung cancer, silicosis, dizziness or cardiovascular disease such as osteoporosis are recurrent diseases in the pelvis handling. The average patient is much higher in the mining regions than elsewhere in Tunisia and the life expectancy is shorter than elsewhere. These diseases are caused by the environment, ie the toxic particles of phosphate, found in water and air.
Are there any phosphate-free detergents?
One way to stop this phosphate industry is to decrease its demand.
Most brands of detergent and cosmetics use Phosphate.
However, there are new phosphate-free detergents on the market, as proposed by the LORANE brand.
Information from the report “Tunisia, the forgotten of phosphate – The undertones of globalization”, aired on Public Senat.