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What chemicals are used in so-called urinal "odor eaters"? Do they actually destroy odors, or do they just mask them? Also, are these chemicals subject to any environmental laws or regulations?

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What chemicals are used in so-called urinal "odor eaters"?

There are 1,4-dichlorobenzene-based and non-PDCB products. In the latter, the chemical mixture from the linked MSDS is: SODIUM SULPHATE, SODIUM DODECYL SULPHATE, COCAMIDE MEA, DIPENTENE, CITRAL, LINALOOL,BENZYL ALCOHOL

Do they actually destroy odors, or do they just mask them?

They mask odors.

Also, are these chemicals subject to any environmental laws or regulations?

Yes, as detailed in the MSDS sheets linked above. Please note that my knowledge of urinal cakes and related products is not exhaustive.

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  • $\begingroup$ could anyone (other than the manufacturer) have an exhausting knowledge of urinal cakes? $\endgroup$
    – user15489
    Jul 1, 2015 at 19:27
  • $\begingroup$ The MSDS of the non-DCB product says: HARMFUL TO AQUATIC ORGANISMS, MAY CAUSE LONG-TERM ADVERSE EFFECTS IN THE AQUATIC ENVIRONMENT. DO NOT EMPTY INTO DRAINS, DISPOSE OF THIS MATERIAL AND ITS CONTAINER AT HAZARDOUS OR SPECIAL WASTE COLLECTION POINT. ENVIRONMENTAL PRECAUTIONS: DO NOT ALLOW PRODUCT TO REACH SEWAGE SYSTEM OR ANY WATER COURSE. INFORM RESPECTIVE AUTHORITIES IN CASE OF SEEPAGE INTO WATER COURSE OR SEWAGE SYSTEM. $\endgroup$
    – iad22agp
    Jul 1, 2015 at 20:11
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    $\begingroup$ Of course, the sad envrionmental toxicological irony of the urinal cake is that is it mostly soluble in water and designed to end up "down the drain". $\endgroup$
    – Ben Norris
    Jul 2, 2015 at 0:52
  • $\begingroup$ @iad22agp The caps are killing my eyes. Could you try and avoid them in future. $\endgroup$
    – bon
    Jul 2, 2015 at 11:51
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry - I copied and pasted the text directly from the online MSDS. Must be a holdover from the days of the teletype. $\endgroup$
    – iad22agp
    Jul 2, 2015 at 12:14

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