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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - October 27, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta _ Wednesday, October 27, 1971 LETHBRIDGE HERALD 41 A question of conscience on washday By JOYCE EGGINTON tondon Observe.- Service NEW YORK One washday a Connecticut housewife ran out of (Jetergent, borrowed a cupfull from a neighbor, then set it down for a few minutes while she did something else. While her back was turned her daughter investi- gated Uie contents of the cup, as babies will, by tasting it. The infant's windpipe was so severely burned by the caustic ingredients that six days later she died of suffocation. If the detergent had been the commonly used phosphate vari- ety, which is not toxic, the baby would have felt no worse than uncomfortable. But it was the new phosphate free type which ecology conscious Am- ericans have been urged to use to halt the disastrous pollution of this country's rivers and lakes. The consequences of the baby's death have gone far be- yond Connecticut. In a move which has shocked conser- vationists, the Surgeon Gen- eral of the United States, Dr. Jesse L. Steinfold, has reluc- tantly recommended a whole- sale return to phosphate deter- gents because "they are the safest things in terms of hu-1 very machines have created an man healh nvenvhelining threat. Accord- It has been known for several j ing to exports we cannot return years that phosphate deter- gents do not break down in riv- ers and streams, like soap. In- stead they provide excessive nourishment to the algae in the water, which in turn use up so much oxygen that fish and plant life is starved to death, and once clear lakes turn into smelly swamps. The whiteness of billions of American wash- days lias been brought at the price of valuable natural re- sources, a situation which could not be reversed for decades even if every household stepped laundering tomorrow. Now, to safeguard inquisitive babies, and some adults loo, the rlis- astrous pollution of America's waterways must continue. CREATE THREATS Never has washing the fam- ily's clothes involved such ques- tions of conscience. There was a time when housewives of I he Western world envied Ameri- can women the simplicity o! labor saving machines which reduced the exhaustion of rub- bing, rinsing and wringing to a matter of pressing buttons and pulling switches. Now those to old fashioned soap and save the waterways because modern washing machines are made for detergents only and so are modern synthetic fab- rics. This argument has not yet been home out by the experi- ence of women in Suffolk Coun- ly, Long Island, who have been bound by local law to use only scap powders for the past six months, and from whom there have been virtually no com- plnints. The experts also maintain that there are no longer enough fats and oils in America to re- place all detergents with soap it is certainly true that r.oap does a poor job in wash- ing machines in bard-water arms. Thus, washing machines and the detergents that go w i t h them have come into the cate- gory of supersonic aircraft: whatever efficiency they add to everyday living must be weigh- ed agan'lst the hazard of wreck- ing the environment. Detergents were introduced inlo America in the 1030s for hard wEOer areas only. Wash- ing machines, in those days, merely washed. Within a few years these had been super- seded by mp.chines which also spin-dried clothes, which were more readily clogged by soap, and detergents swept the mar- ket. Those early detergents con- tained nitrates which, it was soon found, produced huge quantities of suds which con- tinued bubbling in rivers and lakes. In some districts, drink- ing water developed a head on it like beer and tasted unpleas- ant. The problem became so U.S. Con- a ban on all detergents a move which, in the light of later events, might have been wise. But then the detergent industry came up with phosphates to replace the nitrates as cleaning agents, and the American waterways ran relatively clear for a few years until the phosphate-induced algae started choking them. The next challenge was to find a substitute for phosphates. Recently a chemical known as NTA (sodium nitrilotriacetate) was thought to be the answer, until a Harvard patholog i s t found it could be cancer-indue- pervasive that the gress contemplated f I Hrr t> HILDREMS SHOE HURRY! WOMEN NO BOOT Variety of sizes and m 1 styles men's and women's SKIDOO I Yellow and Blue with Felt Liner 4 .97 CHILDREN'S OVERSHOES I97 Sizes 6-10, 11-3 Red, White, Brown REWARD SHOES Ing. So, inevitably, several small manufacturers came out with "secret formula" deter- gents, guaranteed to contain no phosphates, no NTA, and noth- ing which would pollute the wa- terways. These secret formula detergents, with their promises of purity, took the guilt out of washday for many housewives, and with clear consciences they started using washing powders with names like Ecolo-G, Sa- vus, Bio-D, and Pure Water. The trouble was that while most women knew what these now powder's did not contain, very few were aware of what Uiey did. FINE PRINT The phosphates had to he re- placed by something, and this time it was causiic chemicals. Some manufacturers printed warnings in fine print on the packages that these detergents should be kept out of the reach of children and away from the eyes and noses of the users. But most women glossed over the warnings (there being scarcely a household cleaner, from floor wax to scouring powder, which is not poisonous) and the sales of the so-called ecology minded detergents went up and up. Even the set- back which one brand suffered when its manufacturer's Mafia associations were publicized did not stop the boom. The death of a Connecticut baby has finally succeeded where the printed warnings failed. It has also given enor- mous impetus to the powerful detergent lobby which has suc- cessfully argued for years that phosphates have no known sub- stitute to get clothes whiter than white. Most Ameri can housewives are now s o con- fused that they do not know what to buy any more, so they are returning to the old famii- iar detergents which are widely sold in supermarkets the kind which doesn't kill people, I only lakes and rivers and fish. Calgary trims Grey Cup parade bill CALGARY (CP) City council has decided to spend compared with last year as Calgary's part in the Grey Cup activities at Van- couver next month. The amount will be used mainly for a float and displays in the Grey Cup parade. Council said the city will be represented even if Calgary Stampeders don't take part in the Canadian Football League classic, scheduled Nov. 28. LONG TRIAL BRASILIA (AP) Brazil's federal tax court dropped a case against a civil servant ac- cused of misappropriating pub- lic years after it was filed in 1893. betty shop (ST. HAWAIIAN VALUES HOT BUYS ON HOT PANT SUITS Snappy dress styles over hoi panls. In plain or fortrel, silk knits and wool. Sizes 5 to 15. FROM H5 DRESSES Special purchase on fall's latest styles. In forlrel silk knits, wool. Dressy or tailored styles. Short or long sleeves. Assorted colours and prints. 8-20. Regular to 29.98. FROM SKI JACKETS Witli old fashion warmth. Nylon outer shell fortrel fibre fill for warmth without weight. Concealed hood, storm cuffs. Navy, Green, Gold and many other shades. 5.M.L. Nylon, stretch. Proportioned sizes. Black, Brown, Green. 8 to IS. Reg. Use your betty shop Fashion card Your passport to a wonderful world of fashion. betty shop COLLEGE MALL Phone 328-2809 CENTRE VILLAGE Phone 328-5025 FR1NC Jani! Sn'iailla ft.if' CENTRE VILLAGE MALL PHONE 328-6980 A Browser's Paradise TOPSY TURVY by Jerome Alexander Reg. 39.95 HAWAIIAN DAY SPECIAL Oct. 28, 29, 30 Topsy Turvy is what it is A new concept in a wig Two entirely different wigs in the somo wig One wig worn off tho face-almost shoulder length The other styling when turned upsido down gives the wig 18 inches of tho long shag look which is what's happening in Iho fashion world today. Made of synthetic Kanekalon fibre with permanent curl. .19" BUYS A PAIR OF NYLONS CHILDREN'S COMB AND MIRROR COMPLEXION BRUSH (Soft nylon bristles) FLOWER DOILIES EARRINGS BRACELETS PURSE MIRRORS .49" BUYS COLORFUL LACQUERED TRAYS STYLING BRUSH BEADS KEY CHAINS EARRING STAND TOYS ZODIAC MUGS ZODIAC ASHTRAYS CORKSCREWS UTILITY SCOOPS KITCHEN UTILITY SHEARS ENAMELWARE POT (Hi qts) CHINA FIGURINES PAPER FLOWERS INCENSE MATCHES (90 sticks) FEATHER BUTTERFLIES ALUMINUM GLASS BOTTOM MUGS BUYS DUCK DECANTERS HANGING FISHNET BALLS STEAK KNIVES (simulated bone handles) set of six FONDUE FORKS (set of six) 7" PLAIN AND MAGNIFYING MIRRORS CAST IRON TRIVET WARMER PILL BOX (Jeweller's finish) ENAMEL WARE POT (holds qts.) BAMBOO TRAYS AUTO LITTER BASKETS ORIENTAL BRASS CHIME WIG SPRAY (emporium) STYROFOAM WIG HEADS WIG STYLING STANDS (Suction base) Artist Paint Brushes Voluo to 2.75 7Q-. Only 'C ;