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Why do we still allow phosphorus products to be used so widely?

Ohio has implemented two bans on consumer products containing phosphates (phosphorus).  The first was the ban of phosphates from laundry detergents in the early 1980s.  The second ban is for dishwasher detergent and that ban just went into effect in July, 2010.

Representatives from The Scotts Miracle Gro Company indicate that they expect to eliminate phosphorus from turf (lawn) maintenance products by 2012.

Fertilizers containing phosphorus are still necessary for agricultural production.  We need to better understand the balance between the need for nutrients to grow our crops and the environmental risk of different agricultural management practices and the potential for runoff into our streams and rivers. 

Gail Hesse, Ohio EPA