Foam escape not a laughing matter
WHILE some may have found the 2km stretch of escaped foam in Choa Chu Kang amusing ("Fiery start, foamy end"; Wednesday), I thought it was alarming.
We should not take it lightly when 40 barrels of detergent- based concentrate, of 200-litre capacity each, send chemicals flowing into our waterway.
Chemical-based detergents contain several types of harmful chemicals such as phenols, phosphates, chlorine bleach, chemical fragrance, dioxane and sodium lauryl/laureth sulphate.
At high concentrations, they are not only environmentally harmful, but can also hurt people.
Although the article said the detergent is bio-degradable and water-soluble, these qualities do not make it safer.
The term bio-degradable is so widely used in marketing a product these days that it leads consumers to believe that anything bio-degradable is good.
Most people do not ask how long it takes for something to bio-degrade.
These are some unanswered questions pertaining to the foam escape:
What kind of detergent was it?
What were the chemicals and and their concentration levels?
Which was the company or factory responsible?
I also hope that no children were playing with the foam. Children, unlike adults, do not have the ability to detoxify toxins very effectively.