The member states of the European Union (EU) have unanimously agreed to ban a class of hormone-disrupting chemicals known as nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPE) from imported clothing and textiles.
NPEs are chemicals used in textile production as cleaning, dyeing and rinsing agents. These agents remain in the garment post-production, are released during washing, and are believed to contaminate waterways.
The ban is specific for textiles containing NPE in concentrations equal to or greater than 0.01% and will enter into force five years after the European Commission (EC) adopts the ban. The ban does not apply to second-hand goods or recycled textiles.
This is in line with the EU member states efforts to eliminate water pollution as stated under the Water Framework Directive.