Is boat soap safe to dump into the water?
I went sailing yesterday (on someone else's boat) and afterwards we pitched in to give it a wash in it's slip. I asked the owner about the soap and he said it was West Marine boat soap. After the cleaning was done he directed someone to dump the bucket into the water. According to the West Marine Heavy-Duty Boat Soap label the product is "Safe for the environment; Biodegradable, non toxic, phosphate-free" so I can see where he got that idea. However I found this Q&A reply from West Marine:
Verified Reply - Customer Service
The Heavy-Duty Boat Soap is primarily water, glycol ether DPM, and a nonionic surfactant blend. It has not been found to cause ecological problems, but surfactants are an area of concern in quantity. Rinsing it directly into the dockside water is best avoided for that reason.
So, is this product harmful to the environment? If so, why does the website say it's safe? I can't see the back of the bottle because West Marine does not show a picture.