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EU notifies NPE ban in textiles from 2021
Jan '16
Six months after the European Union member states agreed to ban nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPE) widely found in clothing because it poses an “unacceptable risk” to the environment, the amended Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulation will come into force from Februaty 2, 2016, and companies will then have five years to to remove the chemical from their products and supply chains, according to the EU Official journal.

This means there should be no NPEs in any textile placed in the market after February 3, 2021 “which can be reasonably expected to be washed in water during their normal lifecycle, in concentrations equal to or greater than 0.01 per cent by weight of that textile or of each part of the textile article.”

The restriction will not apply to second-hand textile articles or new textile articles produced without the use of NPE exclusively from recycled textiles.

The proposal ban the chemical was brought forward by Sweden in 2013 and backed by scientists at the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).

NPE degrades in the environment into substances including nonylphenol (NP), which accumulates in the bodies of fish and disrupts their hormones, harming fertility, growth and sexual development.

The wide use of NPE in the textile industry was brought to light by a Greenpeace International report, Dirty Laundry 2: Hung Out To Dry in 2011, which found toxic chemicals in waste water discharge from two textile processing facilities in China supplying global apparel firms. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk - India

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