What ingredients are considered nasty in washing detergents (that you won’t find in Dirt!)?
Synthetic scents: Synthetic perfumes are petrochemical-derived ingredients that are used in a huge range of consumer products. They can irritate the eyes, skin and lungs. They are often labelled as ‘Parfum’ on the pack, and their ingredient composition does not have to be declared.
Synthetic dies: Artificial or synthetic dies are also petroleum-based. While this doesn't necessarily make them 'nasty' it makes them not awesome. The reason Dirt avoids them is simply because they're unnecessary.
Optical Brighteners: Optical whiteners and brighteners are slow to break down in the environment and cause long term effects on the aquatic environment.
Nasty Parabens: Parabens are one of the most popular preservatives on the market. They're helpful in reducing bacteria and mould growth. Without a preservative, products will have a shelf life of as little as a couple of days. The reason Parabens are on the nasty list is because they have been known to affect the natural hormone production system.
Phosphates: Phosphates are made from Phosphorus. Phosphorus is an important part of any ecosystem - it stimulates the growth of Algae and other food. It's not harmful to animals or humans in naturally occurring levels. The problem with including it in detergent arises from the result of putting too much Phosphorus into a marine system. A little extra phosphorus will stimulate the growth of the food supply chain. A little too much would overstimulate the growth of plant life in a marine ecosystem, which ultimately changes the balance of nutrients, and smothers marine life.