Surfactants * Positive Environmental Characteristic: Biodegrade readily to compounds with low toxicity. Example: Straight carbon chain compounds like linear alcohol ethoxylates or betaine esters. * Key Characteristics of Concern: Toxicity to aquatic organisms, like fish (vertebrates), daphnids (invertebrates) and algae; persistence in the environment; toxicity of biodegradation byproducts. * Example: Alkylphenol ethoxylates--biodegrade under anaerobic conditions to alkylphenols, which persist in the environment, have high toxicity to aquatic organisms, and may be endocrine disruptors (compounds that adversely affect the endocrine system that controls metabolism, reproduction, and growth) Builders * Positive Environmental Characteristic: Low toxicity, low impact on the environment. Example: Zeolites, also known as aluminosilicates. * Key Characteristic of Concern: Potential to cause eutrophication in fresh water (eutrophication is the process by which a body of water becomes rich in dissolved nutrients, diminishing oxygen levels and a water body's ability to support various forms of aquatic life). * Example: Inorganic phosphates. Bleaches * Positive Environmental Characteristic: Low toxicity, no toxic byproducts. Example: Hydrogen peroxide or ozone. * Key Characteristics of Concern: Inherent toxicity and toxic byproducts. * Examples: Sodium hypochlorite, which can form hazardous gases and chlorinated organic byproducts; may also damage fibers in clothing and fabrics, which can lead to the generation of excess lint, a potential fire hazard during drying; Sodium perborate, which can present both human health and ecological concerns; and Dichloro-isocyanurate may form toxic gas, nitrogen-trichloride, a threat to human health. Colorants * Positive Environmental Characteristic: Low toxicity to humans and aquatic organisms. Minimize colorant use whenever possible. * Key...
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