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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 February, 2004, 08:45 GMT
Water pollutants probe
South West coast
The research will look at detergent levels in coastal waters
New research has just begun in Devon that should help to protect the marine and coastal environment of the UK.

Work is being undertaken by the University of Plymouth to consider the effects of the use of household cleaning products and their impact on coastal waters.

The research concentrates on the effects cleaners and detergents can have on seawater and the coastline.

Another of the objectives will be to understand why people buy the household products they do and if using so-called "green" products is a factor.

Environmental groups including Surfers Against Sewage and the Clean Water Initiative have raised concerns that some products are disposed off straight into the sewerage system with bathwater and household sewage.

They say some potentially more persistent contaminants may not be broken down and could end up discharged into coastal waters.

Researchers will canvass supermarkets and consumer groups, as well as the public across the South West.

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