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Sweden proposes extending NP & NPE restriction in textiles
Oct '13
On 29 July 2013, the Swedish Chemicals Agency submitted its new proposed intention to the European Chemicals Agency on the restriction of nonylphenol (NP) and nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPE) in textile clothing, fabric accessories and interior textile articles that can be washed in water.

Previously, in 2012, Sweden submitted a proposal to extend the restriction of NP and NPE for textile and leather articles, but the application was rejected by ECHA’s Committee for Socio-Economic Analysis (SEAC) due to non-conformity of the submitted dossier.

Dangers of Nonylphenol and Nonylphenol Ethoxylates

According to the latest research from one NGO, NPEs are a group of chemicals used in the manufacture of textiles, in particular as surfactants and detergents. NPEs can break down to form NPs, a toxic, persistent, bioaccumulative and hormone-disrupting substance. NP is very toxic to aquatic organisms and may cause long term adverse effects in the aquatic environment.

The investigative report on the use of NPEs during the manufacture of textiles indicates finished garments and other textile products may contain residuals of NPEs which can be released during washing. This can be a source of toxic chemicals contributing to ongoing inputs of NPs to surface waters.

Restricting the use of toxic chemicals in the fashion industry is a way to help prevent toxic water pollution resulting from the release of hazardous chemicals from manufacturing processes and products. That is the main focus for restricting textile products containing residues of NPEs in the EU. Only if the use and release of NPEs is eliminated throughout the supply chain, can the contamination of surface water be reduced.

REACH Regulation and Nonylphenol

Currently, Annex XVII entry 46 of the REACH Regulation only restricts the use of NP and NPE in domestic cleaning and textiles/leather processing etc. as a substance or in mixtures in concentrations equal to or greater than 0.1% by weight (1000 ppm).

SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 75 000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1 500 offices and laboratories around the world.


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