Has the EPA in the US banned use of diphosphate ester surfactants for use in marine environments

This chemical can be found in some “green” products used for cleaning bilges, etc. on ships



  1. 0 Votes

    Roger, this is a difficult technical question. I could not find any specific regulations about the use of these substances in marine environments, though I would not be surprised if there is at least some control of them.  (It’s also possible that they just haven’t gotten around to regulating it yet). The Environmental Protection Agency does regulate large numbers of materials containing organophosphates, but they are mostly pesticides, not products for use in marine environments. Without delving deeply into the specific chemistry of various substances, organophosphates (of which phosphate ester surfactants are a type) are present in carbofuran, a widely-used insecticide which the EPA recommended banning of in 2006. Naturally some environmental groups have criticized the EPA for not going far enough. Given that the studies supporting the 2006 actions appear to be pretty new, I would hazard a guess that use of these specific chemicals in cleaning products, which appears to be less common, has not yet hit EPA’s radar screen, but I could be wrong on that.

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