Many types of waterless urinal cartridges contain a thick, liquid sealant. The purpose of this substance is to float on top of urine and any water that may be in the drain line, and in so doing, trap odors and sewer gasses underneath. At regular intervals, the sealant has to be replaced – either on its own or as part of a cartridge replacement.
One of the obvious benefits of waterless urinals is a positive environmental impact, due to reduced water usage. This can lead environmentally-conscious people to wonder, however, if a waterless urinal cartridge is ecologically friendly, or if the sealant they use can cause environmental damage.
There is no cause for concern, though. The sealant in the typical high-quality waterless urinal cartridge is usually made from a highly refined vegetable oil base or from aliphatic alcohol (fatty types of alcohol– for example, ethyl alcohol and isopropyl alcohol). This sealant is 100% biodegradable and contains no harsh chemicals or solvents.
There are, of course, also waterless urinal cartridge designs that do not require sealant altogether and are therefore cheaper to use and have even less environmental impact. The Smarty Bee range is a good example of this type of waterless urinal cartridge.