Publications: Research reports and publications

Risk assessment of chemicals in household products

1 January, 2013
Centre for Integrated Biowaste Research. Publication number 04.


The ecotoxicology component of the Up-the-Pipe solutions project examined the potential environmental impact of active ingredients found in common household cleaning and personal care products in order to identify harmful chemicals that could potentially be replaced by less harmful alternatives. Septic tank wastes were used as a case study as they are almost specifically used to treat domestic wastewater and as such provide the best opportunity to assess the potential environmental impacts of chemicals commonly used in New Zealand households.


The objectives of this study were to:

  • select a series of chemicals found in commonly used household products
  • select a representative septic tank system to be studied
  • assess the toxicity of the selected chemicals using standardised bioassay analyses
  • provide a ranking of the risk of the chemicals tested.

Read more up the Up-the-Pipe solutions project here