§ Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd
asked the Minister of Technology what research he is undertaking into the use of detergents which are resistant to filter beds and to bacteria and add to the pollution of rivers; and whether he will take steps in consultation with industry to substitute for general use other types to which these defects do not apply.
§ Mr. Fowler
A substantial programme of research has been carried out for nearly 20 years at the Water Pollution Research Laboratory into the effects of a wide range of detergents on sewage works and on pollution of rivers. This work has been co-ordinated with industry and local interests through the Ministry of Housing and Local Government's Standing Technical Committee on synthetic detergents. The detergent manufacturers have co-operated fully in developing and substituting detergents which have much less deleterious effects and the improved materials are in general domestic use. Except in some isolated circumstances there are now no serious problems of foaming. Manufacturers are understood to be continuing development of further improved detergents.