Consumerism: Enzymes in Hot Water

Introduced with splashy promotion campaigns less than three years ago, enzyme pre-soaks like Procter & Gamble's Biz and Colgate-Palmolive's Axion quickly became household words and laundry staples. Enzymes were then added to most detergents. Today, brands containing enzymes account for at least 60% of the $1.5 billion U.S. market for pre-soaks and detergents. Now, government officials in both the U.S. and

Britain are examining the enzymes for possible health hazards.

Official interest was first quickened by an article last June in the London medical journal, the Lancet, which reported that an unusually large number of workers exposed to enzyme dust...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!