Japan Soap and Detergent Association Japan Soap and Detergent Association

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Key Activities

Environmental Monitoring and Risk Assessment of Surfactants

Surfactants are used in a wide variety of household products, personal care products and industrial chemicals etc..

Large amounts of the surfactants used as detergents, fabric softener etc.. are discharged to wastewater treatment system or directly aquatic environmental such as river. In order to assess the environmental risks of the surfactants, JSDA has been conducted the environmental monitoring of the surfactants in Japan since 1998.

Analytical Sample

JSDA has evaluated 4 kinds of surfactants, i.e. Linear alkylbenzene sulfonate (LAS), Alcohol ethoxylates (AE), Alkyldimethylamine oxide (AO), and Triethanol amine quatenary ammonium salt (TEAQ).

River water samples were collected from 7 sites on 4 rivers in urban areas of Tokyo and Osaka, 4 times per year.


The industry association has been continuously conducting environmental monitoring (studies on river concentrations) of surfactants since 1998 in order to study the impact of detergents on the ecosystem and the environment, and assessing risks based on the data.

Monitoring impact on rivers (From 1998)

Environmental concentration and predicted no-effect concentration(PNEC) of surfactants

- Environmental monitoring is conducted 4 times a year at a total of 7 sites: 3 sites on Tamagawa, 2 sites on Arakawa, 1 site on Edogawa, and 1 site on Yodogawa.
- nd = not detected
- Study on TEAQ began in 2012 in response to the increase in its use

Concentrations of surfactants in river water were lower than the PNEC, which are the concentrations at which there is no effect on aquatic organisms. It was confirmed that the ecological risk of these surfactants is low.