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The per capita output of phosphorus from domestic detergents in Ireland 1950-1982

S. T. Patrick


Domestic sewage is a major source of phosphorus (P) to many Irish lakes. Domestic detergents comprise a significant source of P in such sewage. The change in the potential output of P from domestic detergents in Ireland between 1950–1982 is assessed in per capita terms. Per capita output in Northern Ireland levelled off at around 1.6 g person1 day1 from 1977. In the Republic output continued to rise (from a lower base! through 1982. The steady increase in P output from domestic detergents during this period facilitated an unequivocal increase in total domestic P output. In recent years the P content of detergents has declined. It is presumed that this source is now a less significant component of P loadings on lakes. Data derived during this study are considered a more suitable assessment of domestic detergent P output in Ireland than most published ‘assumptions’.

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