"Phosphates are doing serious damage in Wales, and if it was not for legislation from the European Parliament the situation would be far worse." said DEREK VAUGHAN, Labour MEP for Wales.
The European Parliament in Strasbourg today (Wednesday) voted for strong measures to control phosphates across Europe.
"I voted for tough restrictions on the amount of phosphates that can be used in washing powder and socialist MEPs were successful in extending the restrictions to dishwasher detergents.
We need to restrict the use of phosphates in detergents because an accumulation of them in the water supply causes excess algae growth. Too much algae causes an imbalance in the ecosystem which can result in problems for the eco-system such as dead fish.
This has been a big problem in the Baltic Sea but can affect all rivers, lakes and seas.
This is a perfect example of why we need a European Union of twenty seven nations acting together - you cannot control polluted water in one country if it simply appears in another. We all need the same restrictions." Eutrophication is the unhealthy growth of plants leading to an increase in bacteria and lack of oxygen, which results in dead fish, and in certain UK areas has led to dead pets such as dogs."
Phosphates are used in varying amounts in laundry and dishwasher detergents. Areas with hard water need them more than areas with soft water.