New Regulation 2016/26 on nonylphenol ethoxylates in water-washable textiles was published 13/01/16 and enters in force as from 03/02/21. The regulation sets the limit value of NPEO in washable textiles at 100 mg/kg.

Centexbel can help your company by performing an LCMS-screen test and/or a quantitative determination according to ISO 18218-1 (textiles), ISO 18254-1 (leather) or according to OEKO-TEX®.

Alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEO) is the term used to describe the group of organic substances of which NPEO is one. APEOs can be used as or found in detergents, scouring agents, spinning oils, wetting agents, softeners, emulsifying/dispersing agents for dyes and prints, impregnating agents, de-gumming for silk production, dyes and pigment preparations, polyester padding and down/feather fillings. 

APEOs and formulations containing APEOs are prohibited from use throughout the supply chain and manufacturing processes. 

We acknowledge that residual or trace concentrations of APEOs may still be found at levels exceeding 100ppm and that more time is necessary for the supply chain to phase them out completely. This limit covers EU legislation restricting NPEOs, effective on 3 February 2021, and provides advance warning to suppliers. APEO’s are listed in RSL (Restricted Substances Lists) of big retailers and also in other voluntary labels including OEKO-TEX® and Blue Sign.

Why are APEOs considered hazardous?

APEOs are chemicals persisting in rivers and their sediments, and are also concentrated by wildlife, leading to the contamination in their organs at much greater levels than in the surrounding environment. NPEO breaks down in the environment to the parent molecule NP (nonyl phenol). NP is persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic. NPEO are endocrine disrupting chemicals, therefore mimicking oestrogen, the hormones responsible for the development and maintenance of secondary sexual characteristics and behaviour. Compounds with oestrogenic effects will disrupt the normal functioning of the hormone system, leading to potential reproductive problems.