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      State ban on phosphate dishwasher detergent

      A new law will soon make it illegal for stores to sell dishwashing detergent containing phosphorus.Environmentalists have fought for years to ban phosphates from dishwashing detergents. Walter Hang of Toxics Targeting says, even at low levels, phosphates can drain into the lakes and rivers "You use it to wash your dishes it goes into the sewer and out into the lake. It can cause oxygen depletion problems and kill thousands of fish. This is an all to common occurrence," he says.Hang says Cayuga Lake is one of more than 100 bodies of water in New York State considered impaired due to high phosphate levels.Stores will now have 60 days to sell off their old stocks of dishwashing detergent containing phosphorus.A similar ban on lawn fertilizers containing phosphorus goes into effect in 2012. That's good news for Karen Lauretti who is spending more and more time cleaning algae from the shoreline in front of her home on Cayuga Lake. "it's gotten worse over the years. It's gotten worse and worse," she says.