On January 13, 2016, the European Union (EU) published Regulation 2016/26 to regulate Nonylphenol and its ethoxylates (NPEOs) as a new entry 46a to Annex XVII of REACH. This entry came into force on 3rd February 2021 and is applicable to textiles which can reasonably be expected to be washed in water during their life cycle.
What are NPEOs?
NPEOs are a group of man-made chemicals that do not occur in nature other than as a result of discharge to the environment through manufacturing processes. NPEO’s are widely used as surfactants for both the textile and leather industry and the damaging environmental effects of these chemicals has caused concern and, therefore, NPEOs and APEOs are restricted under Annex XVII of REACH.
Entry 46a in Annex XVII of REACH
In Annex XVII to Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006, the following new entry 46a is added:
|46a. Nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPE) (C2H4O)nC15H24O|| 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 secondhand 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.
For further information about entry 46a please see Annex of Commission Regulation (EU) 2016/26:
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