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EC Amends Annex XVII With Regard to NPE

January 19, 2016

The European Commission (EC) has published Commission Regulation (EU) 2016/26 of January 13, 2016 amending Annex XVII to Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) as regards nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPE).
Nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPE) (C2H4O)nC15H24O shall not be placed on the market after February 3, 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.
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.
“Textile article” means any unfinished, semi-finished or finished product which is composed of at least 80 % textile fibers by weight, or any other product that contains a part which is composed of at least 80 % textile fibers by weight, including products such as clothing, accessories, interior textiles, fibers, yarn, fabrics and knitted panels.’
This Regulation shall enter into force on the twentieth day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union. This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.
Why It Matters
NPEs are used as surfactants, but have been associated with persistent and endocrine disruptive properties.
NPE’s are to fish and other water-dwelling organisms.  They degrade in the environment to form the even more harmful nonylphenol (NP). NP itself is a stable metabolite which strongly adsorbs to soil, sludge and sediment.
NPE’s are used in different industries as detergents, emulsifiers and surfactants. In the textile industry NPE’s are still used in many non-EU manufacturing countries as detergents in washing processes, as coloring aids in the dying process and fabric softening. Therefore the Regulation will impact a wide range of textile products.
How UL Can Help
For more details on how UL can help you bring regulatory compliant, safe, and quality products to market, click here.  A UL representative will follow up with you soon.