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EU restricted the use of NPEO in Textile Articles

On January 14th, 2016, EU official journal published commission regulation (EU) 2016/26 to add entry 46 (a)

in REACH Annex XVII, amending REACH regulation as regards NPEO. It is regulated that NPEO concentration in

textile articles shall not equal or greater than 0.01% from February 3rd, 2021. The details are as followed

46a. Nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEO)


1.Shall not be placed on the market after 3 February 2021 in textile articles which

can reasonably be expected to be washed in water during their normal lifecycle, in concentrations equal to or greater than 0,01 % by weight of that textile article or of each part of the textile article.

2.Paragraph 1 shall not apply to the placing on the market of second- hand textile articles or of new textile articles produced, without the use of NPE, exclusively from recycled textiles.

3.For the purposes of paragraphs 1 and 2, “textile article” means any unfinished, semi-finished or finished product which is composed of at least 80 % textile fibres by weight, or any other product that contains a part which is composed of at least 80 % textile fibres by weight, including products such as clothing, accessories, interior textiles, fibres, yarn, fabrics and knitted panels.’

      NPEO is normally used as a surface active agent for textile production and processing, such as detergents, in

dustrial cleaning agents, dispersing agents, wetting agents, and other industrial chemicals. NPE has endocrine dis

rupting effect, which can promote the proliferation of breast cancer cells, and is a carcinogen. As a surface active

agent, NPEO once entering into the environment, it will quickly break down into a more toxic environmental hormo

ne  NP. NP is recognized as environmental hormone world widely, and can lead to endocrine disorders, impede re

production, development and other functions, and even lead to malignant tumors.

The EU has already restricted on the use of NPE and NP since 2003, but only for the following use:

windustrial and institutional cleaning

wdomestic cleaning

wtextile and leather processing

wemulsifier in agricultural teat dips

wmanufacturing of pulp and paper

wcosmetic products

wother personal care products

wco-formulants in pesticides and biocides.

Restriction on the use of in the textile articles is great challenge to Chinese manufacturers. So enterprises shou

ld strengthen management and control, to ensure that semi-finished or finished products exporting to the EU be com

plaint with the requirements of the regulations.

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