Edmonton detergent maker fined $600K for high phosphorus levels
Acuity Holdings Inc. manufactures Zep brand cleaning products
An Edmonton-based manufacturer of Zep brand cleaning products has been fined $600,000 for selling commercial laundry detergents containing too much phosphorus.
Acuity Holdings Inc. pleaded guilty in provincial court Nov. 6 to one count of contravening the Concentration of Phosphorus in Certain Cleaning Products Regulations under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act.
The $600,000 fine will be directed to the Environmental Damages Fund, the federal government said in a news release Monday. The fund applies fines to projects that support environmental initiatives.
Acuity Holdings makes and sells cleaning products under the registered trade name Zep Manufacturing Company of Canada. The business operates from a facility at 116th Avenue and 178th Street.
An investigation conducted by Environment and Climate Change Canada enforcement officers revealed that Acuity Holdings manufactured and sold two commercial laundry detergents — Zeplift and Classic TKO — which contained concentrations of phosphorus in excess of the allowable limit.
Commercial and industrial laundry detergents are restricted to no more than 2.2 per cent elemental phosphorus by weight. Household laundry detergents, dishwashing soaps and cleaners can have no more than 0.5 per cent elemental phosphorus by weight.
Phosphorus is commonly used in detergents and cleaners. The release of phosphorus into the environment contributes to the over-fertilization of freshwater ecosystems and can result in the growth of harmful algal blooms in lakes and rivers.
As a result of the conviction, Acuity Holdings will be added to the government's environmental offenders registry.