Study reveals: soap is not harmful to the environment

September 19, 2014 - 06:30

New study shows that soap compounds break down long before they can pose an environmental threat.

A new study shows that waste compounds from soap pose no danger to the environment. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Humans use up millions of tons of soap year and you might fear that the compounds from the soap end up in the groundwater or lakes where it might be harmful to the environment.

A new study shows that there’s no cause for concern, writes Aarhus University in a press release.

According to a new meta-study, in which international scientists examined more than 250 different papers on soap, it appears that soap is not as harmful to the environment as we previously thought.

“It’s the most comprehensive and definitive study of soap compounds,” says Hans Sanderson, senior researcher at the Department of Environmental Science, Aarhus University, who took part in the new study.

The scientists analysed the results of previous studies on the most used soaps in North America.

Soaps are close to identical worldwide so the results are global. It’s important knowledge, says Sanderson.

“The compounds are designed to break down so fast that they don’t pose a threat to the environment,” he says.

“I can’t think of other compounds spilling into the environment as soap does,” says Anderson. “It’s the most used compounds ever, and it goes straight into the waste water so it’s very important to keep a check on them,” says Anderson.

The study was recently published in Critical Reviews in Enviromental Science
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Read the original story in Danish on Videnskab.dk

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Translated by
Kristian Secher

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