For many years, the LWRA has encouraged you to protect our lake, in part by using environmentally friendly cleaners.
A local Huntsville company, Lord and Partners, is a leading manufacturer and supplier of Non WHMIS and Non Regulated environmentally responsible solvents, cleaners and specialty products for industry, government and similar institutions around the world. They do not market to the retail consumer, however, through the efforts of Bill Somers, they have agreed to sell to us if we purchase in case lots.
We have reviewed their product line, and offer the following:
Skone Bilge Cleaner. This product is safe to wash your boat with in and around our fragile lakes. Dilute up to 10:1. (Incidentally, during our product testing we found it makes an excellent engine degreaser as well and can be used to clean up oil spots spilled on a garage floor.)NOTE: the cleaner is safe in and around the lake for cleaning the hull exterior of tea stains, however, any engine grease or oils it removes should NOT be discharged into the water. Clean bilges and engines on shore away from the water and dispose of the waste water at the Household Hazardous Waste depot.
Apple Safety Bowl A bio-degradable bathroom cleaner.
Hair & Body Soap Replace your bar soap with a pump dispenser and refill with this product. Less mess and easy on the lake.
Multi Clean A scouring cleaner. Dilute with water for spraying or light cleaning.
Super Green A biodegradeable general purpose non-scouring cleaner. This is their flagship product. Dilute up to 150:1, depending on use.
The cost to you is $12 per litre, so you get industrial strength cleaners at wholesale prices (full disclosure: after GST, we have rounded up to the nearest dollar, so the association collects a few pennies per bottle). Save the environment and save money at the same time -- you can't ask for better than that!
Bill has had a number of people test some of these cleaners and all report they are very effective. Reports say they do the job as well as products with harsh chemicals. Some are multi-purpose, and can be diluted with water. For example, the "Super Green Concentrate" all-purpose cleaner/degreaser is mixed 10:1 for heavy duty cleaning like appliances or toilets but diluted 150:1 for windows or mirrors.
To order, either use the contact form on the left or call Bill Somers at 705-788-2015. Additional info is inthe product Data Sheets (pdf format) attached.
One of our members inquired: "... what does it mean that it is non- Workplace Hazardous Material Information System (a Health Canada effort) and non-regulated? Shouldn't we be concerned? Who's tested these?"
"Non-WHMIS" means the product has been evaluated as completely safe and does not require labelling or data sheets under the Workplace Hazardous Material Information System. "Non-Regulated" means it is considered completely safe under the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act and the Right to Know Act.
Bill Somers has investigated this company and their products quite thoroughly for us. The products have all been tested under the "EcoLogo" program of Environment Canada and certified to meet the international ISO 14024 standard.
The EcoLogo program is what ISO calls a Type I eco-label - a multi-attribute, life-cycle based certification program. This means that the criteria reflect all of the potential environmental impacts from the entire life-cycle of the product or service type. EcoLogo sets criteria that only the best (environmentally speaking) 20% of products in any category will be able to meet. Note that they do not evaluate the effectiveness of the product against performance claims.
The LWRA executive believes that whatever brand you choose, selecting the EcoLogo label is better for our lakes than unlabelled alternatives. For more info, please see their website at http://www.ecologo.org.
Another of our members pointed out that many "biodegradable" soaps do not biodegrade in water, they require bacterialogical action in soil. We have verified the biodegradability of the above 5 products with L&P. They advise that these are not traditional soaps. They are organic oils and certified as meeting the US EPA and Canadian EC standards for "rapidly biodegradable" (less than 28 days) even in water and "low marine toxicity" (as tested on single cell organisms up to shrimp in the US and up to trout fingerlings in Canada). Now, all that said, it applies to the soap, not the stuff you are washing off with the soap. So while it is safe to use Skone to wash the tea stains off the boat immediately after pulling it from the water, please don't degrease your engine into the lake!