There was a meeting held with economists, engineers, specialists, ecologists, scientists, journalists in the editorial office of printed and electronic publications. The area of discussion: "How to protect a man and nature from… a man ". While opening the meeting, Oleg Kravchenko, the editor in chief, informed the participants about the fact that a new bill "About the peculiarities of state regulation of synthetic detergents and household chemical goods" was recently published on the site of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine, to which content all the invited guests had been previously introduced.
In the history of mankind many civilizations perished from natural disasters, from huge asteroids falling on the Earth's surface. The current civilization can be destroyed by itself. The impact of human activities on the environment is causing a growing amount of atmospheric pollution, which threatens with disastrous climate changes. Due to the foolish use of chemical substances, water in rivers and lakes (the major fresh water source for cities and villages) is also being polluted. And it is a well-known fact, that both the air and water are substances, without which life is impossible!
Every year almost 200,000 tons of washing powder and other synthetic detergents containing phosphorus compounds called phosphates are produced in Ukraine. In recent years, environmentalists, medical workers and public institutions repeatedly raised the issues of prohibiting the usage of phosphates when producing household chemicals. Washing powders and pastes, liquid soap, other products containing phosphates negatively affect the skin, causing development of allergies and dangerous infections, damaging kidneys and, in the opinion of specialists, poisoning the whole human body.
Phosphates get into the sewerage and considering the fact, that sewage disposal plants are unable to perform effective waste water purifying (it's even known that phosphorus compounds destroy useful microflora in the treatment systems), the water from there goes straight into rivers, reservoirs, and eventually to our apartments. So people are forced to drink polluted water.
We have often observed "blooming water" in the Dnieper, the Desna river, in power pools. Such blooming has a scientific name - eutrophication. Unbalanced eutrophication can lead to an explosive development of single-celled algae, oxygen deficiency and, as a result, death of higher plants, fish and other fauna. All this is caused by waste water that contains phosphates, being disposed into rivers.
Taking into account the threats posed by using substances containing phosphorus compounds, countries such as Italy, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Norway, the United States, Canada, voluntarily abnegated the use of phosphate-based detergents ; in France, Spain, Great Britain, Latvia their content is strictly limited. In general, the European Parliament adopted a resolution in accordance with which from June 30 of this year it is forbidden to market washing powders, which content of phosphorus is equal to or more than 0,5 gram per quantity of powder recommended for washing.
In the government bill, which was mentioned above, it says: “It is forbidden to produce, import and sale in the market in the customs territory of Ukraine synthetic detergents and household chemical goods, in which the mass fraction of phosphates in recalculation to P2O5 (phosphorus) is more than:
17 percent - from January 1, 2014.
10 percent - from January 1, 2016.
5 percent - from January 1, 2019.
0.7 percent - from January 1, 2021”.
Everyone understands that it is impossible to rebuild a production line instantly in order to utilize new technology. But we are talking here about some serious threats to health of the people, about the steady deterioration of environmental conditions, about the loss of flora and fauna across an enormous territory! Aren't they stalling over reforming of this sector? Do authorities not indulge some "chemical magnates", in order not to, God save, spoil their mood because of this temporary reduction in superprofits? Why can the increase of the pension age be started immediately, yet the transition to production of new products is going to linger on for eight years?
The one who knows how to think analytically can find the answers for these questions in article 3 of the bill (quote): "State regulation in the area of synthetic detergent and household chemical goods aims at:
• implementation of the state policy in the field of treatment of synthetic detergent and household chemical goods;
• creating conditions for the transition to production of synthetic detergents and household chemical goods without phosphates;
• saving the human health and protecting the environment;
• exercising state control over the production, sales and import into the customs territory of synthetic detergents and household chemical goods;
• public access to information about potential risks, in connection with the usage of synthetic detergents and household chemical goods".
So, speaking about the purpose of state regulation in this area, authors of the project prioritize the implementation of the state policy, the second goal is creating conditions for those, who own the manufacturing of detergents hazardous to people's health . And only on the third place we get preservation of human health and environmental protection!
That is where the main problem of our society's hidden: Interests of the people, their health, quality of life have not become the highest priority of the country yet! It is only in the Constitution, that it says "Human life and health, honour and dignity, inviolability and security are recognized in Ukraine as the highest social value”. But really, in day-to-day reality it is unfortunately far from being the truth. Not caring about people in the first place, authors of the project put at risk health of millions simply because they do not want “to disturb” rich owners of the chemical industry.
Summing up many aspects of this acute problem, the participants of the meeting were solidly together in need to actively raise public awareness, to push hard for public consciousness so it becomes mature enough to make the government officials involved in the legislative initiatives to review those really "soft" terms given for the transition to new detergents, which are safe for consumers. The adoption of the law about adding fresh water resources of Ukraine to the list of strategic resources of the state is already long overdue. There should be no room in that law for compromising definitions like this one here: "To reduce the level of pollution with phosphates and other harmful discharges". People should drink clean water, breathe clean air, eat clean food.