ANAHEIM, UNITED STATES/ Day to day are more environmentally conscious consumers choosing green products. But surprises rose when scientists revise how these products are conceived.
Petroleum based products rather than natural plant-based sources. Product sources are part of the process and this was deeply revised in the United States.
It is not like the "Green Myth" is going to fall down, or that the new green revolution is coming to an end, but new researches are showing that Green Products are being made by petroleum sources becoming an atypical challenge for those who are working in this branch. It seems that a Greener future is far from true.
Researchers in the United States released a study assuring that commercial liquid laundry detergent, diswahsing liquids, and hand washes have petroleum compounds.
“Not all carbon is created equal, carbon originating from petroleum is clearly not from a renewable resource. No one can dispute that we need to use less petroleum and consumer products are no exception,” said Cara A.M. Bondi, who gave the results of her research during the opening of the 241st National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS).
While the actual market is getting filled by thousands of “green products” there must be a measure or specific conditions to move in this sense, but there are not legal and standard definitions to these products.
Realizing this, the researchers went to the scientific bases to pull up answers. They started to ask the main questions, such as: Where did the carbon in these products originate? Did it come from plants or from petrochemicals produced synthetically from petroleum?
To get results, Bondi’s team used a carbon-14 dating technique that is used to analyze carbon in ancient bone, cloth, and other artifacts.The products tested showed significant variation in plant-derived carbon content: hand washes ranged from 28%-97%, liquid laundry detergents from 28%-94% and dishwashing liquids from 43%-95%. A conclusion is that supermarkets are just full of “green-no-green” products.
A thin line
The research also revealed that all of the products tested that are positioned in the consumer market as “green” contained over 50% more plant-based carbon on average than product samples tested without such positioning.
“Some of the other findings, however, were a surprise” Bondi said. “The plant-derived carbon content of the product samples tested was largely inconsistent with some of the content claims made on packaging. For example, a liquid laundry detergent that makes the claim ‘petrochemical free’ contained only 69% plant-based carbon, meaning that 31% of the carbon in this sample is, in fact, petroleum-derived.”
“For the samples tested, our results clearly indicate that even though “green” claims are made on package labels or in advertisements, these claims are not necessarily an indication of where the carbon in these products is coming from,” Bondi added.
All has a source
There are many plants in our planet that become in time petroleum derivates and “Carbon derivation is the cornerstone of sustainability and, as such, understanding the ratio of plant-derived versus petroleum-derived carbon is critical for both consumer product manufacturers and raw material suppliers who are trying to minimize petrochemical use,” concluded Bondi.
To catch up an idea of how does carbon derivates are acting in new products radiocarbon dating is one way to reach results where does renewable carbon content is laying.
“We show that consumer product manufacturers who desire to use less petroleum can incorporate radiocarbon dating per ASTM D6866-10 as a method to verify the renewable carbon content of raw materials and finished products, as well as measure the sustainability and renewability improvements of formulation development efforts,” ended Bondi.