“REAL WORLD” STUDIES IN SEVEN COUNTRIES FIND LAS BIODEGRADES RAPIDLY IN RIVERS, STREAMS
Five major studies of the environmental fate of LAS in rivers and streams in the United States, Japan and five European countries — Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom — appear in the February 1997 issue of The CLER Review.
Together, the studies of more than 60 sewage treatment facilities in Europe and the U.S., and monitoring of miles of rivers and streams receiving treated wastewater, indicate substantial “real world” evidence that LAS biodegrades rapidly and poses little or no threat to aquatic ecosystems.
The U.S. and European studies demonstrate that LAS is effectively removed in most sewage treatment processes. Levels of LAS detected in receiving waters were well below those known or predicted to cause any adverse effects for aquatic or sediment organisms. In one study, LAS intermediates and DATS, a component of commercial LAS, were also shown to be significantly removed. High rates of biodegradation of LAS and other detergent surfactants were observed in river water.