2010 Georgia Code
TITLE 12 - CONSERVATION AND NATURAL RESOURCES
CHAPTER 5 - WATER RESOURCES
ARTICLE 2 - CONTROL OF WATER POLLUTION AND SURFACE-WATER USE
§ 12-5-27.1 - Sale or use of cleaning agents containing phosphorus
. Sale or use of cleaning agents containing phosphorus
(a) The General Assembly seeks, through the enactment of this Code section, to set standards limiting the amount of nutrients in various cleaning agents. The General Assembly realizes that the nutrients contained in many of these products serve a valuable purpose in increasing their overall effectiveness, but the General Assembly is also aware that they overstimulate the growth of aquatic life and are causing, and will eventually lead to, an acceleration of the natural eutrophication process of our state's water resources which can result in a lower quality of life and thereby create an undesirable environment in which the citizens of the state would not want to live and do business. Limitations imposed under this Code section should, however, be made taking the following factors into consideration:
(1) The availability of safe, nonpolluting substitutes; and
(2) The differing needs of industrial, commercial, and household users of cleaning agents.
(b) As used in this Code section, the term:
(1) "Cleaning agent" means a laundry detergent, dishwashing compound, household cleaner, metal cleaner or polish, industrial cleaner, or other substance that is used or intended for use for cleaning purposes.
(2) "Nutrient" means a substance or combination of substances which, if added to waters in sufficient quantities, provides nourishment that promotes growth of aquatic vegetation in densities which:
(A) Interfere with use of the waters by humans or by any animal, fish, or plant useful to humans; or
(B) Contribute to degradation or alteration of the quality of the waters to an extent detrimental to their use by humans or by any animal, fish, or plant that is useful to humans.
(c) On or after January 1, 1991, it shall be unlawful to sell at retail or use in this state any cleaning agent containing phosphorus, except as otherwise provided in this Code section.
(d) This Code section shall not apply to cleaning agents which are used:
(1) In agricultural or dairy production;
(2) To clean commercial food or beverage processing equipment or containers;
(3) As industrial sanitizers, metal brighteners, or acid cleaners, including those containing phosphoric acid or trisodium phosphate;
(4) In industrial processes for metal, fabric, or fiber cleaning and conditioning;
(5) In hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, other health care facilities, or veterinary hospitals or clinics;
(6) By a commercial laundry or textile rental service company or any other commercial entity:
(A) To provide laundry service to hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, other health care facilities, or veterinary hospitals or clinics;
(B) To clean textile products supplied to industrial or commercial users of the products on a rental basis; or
(C) To clean professional, industrial, or commercial work uniforms;
(7) In the manufacture of health care or veterinary supplies;
(8) In any medical, biological, chemical, engineering, or other such laboratory, including those associated with any academic or research facility;
(9) As water softeners, antiscale agents, or corrosion inhibitors, where such use is in a closed system such as a boiler, air conditioner, cooling tower, or hot water heating system; or
(10) To clean hard surfaces including windows, sinks, counters, floors, ovens, food preparation surfaces, and plumbing fixtures.
(e) This Code section shall not apply to cleaning agents which:
(1) Are manufactured, stored, sold, or distributed for uses other than household laundry detergents or household or commercial dishwashing agents;
(2) Contain phosphorus in an amount not exceeding 0.5 percent by weight which is incidental to manufacturing; or
(3) Contain phosphorus in an amount not exceeding 8.7 percent by weight and which are intended for use in a commercial or household dishwashing machine.
(f) This Code section shall not apply to any natural or commercial fertilizers.
(g) Local governments shall be responsible for enforcement of the provisions of this Code section within their jurisdictions.
(h) Any person violating the provisions of this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
Graham Syfert - Jacksonville Lawyer