• anonymous
Can you make an informed decision about phosphate detergents based on the reading above? If so, explain your reasoning. If not, discuss what additional facts or experiments could help you decide. need help asap!!
  • Stacey Warren - Expert
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  • chestercat
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  • anonymous
this is the reading... Detergents: Helpful or Harmful? Soap works by acting as an emulsifier that suspends oil droplets in water; thus, oil particles from your skin are easily rinsed down the drain with water. But in certain kinds of water, soap can leave a residue that is hard to remove. To overcome this problem, scientists developed synthetic detergents in the 1950s. WHY PHOSPHATES ARE CONTROVERSIAL Synthetic detergents are widely used, but they contain phosphates, which promote the growth of algae and weeds. If phosphates are carried by the sewage system into a lake, some claim that so much algae and weeds might grow that the lake's supply of oxygen could become low enough to endanger other organisms. OTHER POLLUTION IS A FACTOR A group of researchers at the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research claims that phosphates do not harm unpolluted lakes. They also have found that at moderate levels in lakes that already have some pollution, phosphate detergents and non-phosphate detergents are equally harmful. USING LESS DETERGENT The researchers believe that the problem is not what type of detergent is used, but how much. They found that reducing the amount of detergent is the best way to keep lakes healthy. But some people claim that these studies are biased, and the question of the safety of phosphates is still debated.

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