NONYLPHENOL AND ITS ETHOXYLATES RESTRICTED IN TEXTILES

by Beatriz Domenech

REGULATIONS

26th March 2021

Photo of white tshirt  hanging in front of concrete wall. Wide, soft shadows.

The restrictions announced for Nonylphenol and its ethoxylates in 2016, through regulation 2016/26, came into force on 3 February 2021, reducing emissions of nonphenol ethoxylates (NPEs) into the environment. When clothes and other textile articles containing these chemicals are washed, they release these two substances into the environment through wastewater. NPEs are toxic to aquatic animals and plants.

  • Conditions of restriction:

(1) Shall not be sold after 3 February 2021 in textile articles which can reasonably be expected to be washed in water during their normal life cycle, in concentrations equal to or greater than 0.01% by weight of that textile article or of each part of the article.

(2) Paragraph 1 shall not apply to the sale of second-hand textiles or new textile articles produced without the use of NEP, exclusively from recycled textiles.

(3) For the purposes of paragraphs 1 and 2, “textile article” means any unfinished, semi-finished or finished product that is composed of at least 80 per cent textile fibres by weight, or any other product containing a part that is composed of at least 80 per cent textile fibres by weight, including products such as apparel, accessories, interior textiles, fibres, yarns, fabrics and knitted panels.

The restriction will prevent the release of 15 tonnes of NPE each year into surface waters and reduce pressure on biodiversity.

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