EPA Takes Additional Step to Address Potential Risks from Certain Nonylphenol and Nonylphenol Ethoxylates


Source: EPA
Related Topics: Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) US Environmental Protection Agency
EPA’s Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics is proposing a Significant New Use Rule (SNUR) that will allow the Agency to review and restrict certain nonylphenol (NPs) and nonylphenol ethoxylate (NPEs) chemicals. For the 15 NPs and NPEs that are currently not on the market, EPA is proposing a SNUR to ensure that uses of these chemicals cannot start or resume without prior EPA review. This class of chemicals can be highly toxic to aquatic life and their use can lead to widespread releases to the aquatic environment. EPA has taken a suite of steps to address NPs and NPEs, and this SNUR, when finalized, will require that anyone intending to manufacture (including import) or process the chemical(s) notify EPA at least 90 days before they begin any significant new use. This notification allows EPA the opportunity to evaluate the intended use and, if necessary, to prohibit or limit that use prior to entering the marketplace.
EPA has taken several other steps, along with detergent manufacturers, to reduce the risks posed by NPs and NPEs. In 2010, in coordination with EPA’s Design for the Environment (DfE) Safer Detergent Stewardship Initiative program, the Textile Rental Services Association of America agreed to a phase-out of NPEs in industrial laundry detergents among its member companies, representing about 50 percent of that market.  In May 2012, the DfE program released an Alternatives Assessment for Nonylphenol Ethoxylates, which identified eight safer alternatives to NPEs. Use of NPEs in industrial liquid and powder detergents has declined as a result of the EPA’s on-going efforts to address the potential risks.
Additional information on the proposed SNUR on NPs and NPEs can be found at:

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