Nonylphenol Ethoxylates (NPEs) have many uses, but they are primarily used as surfactants in cleaning chemical formulations, as wetting agents and as dispersants or emulsifiers in some pesticide formulations.
Decreased sperm count in men
Feminization of males
Significantly reduces population
Toxic to aquatic life
Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals: Nonylphenol Ethoxylates (NPE)
The endocrine system plays a fundamental role in the development and metabolism of animals and humans. It is instrumental in the control of growth and development of tissues and organs from conception through adulthood.
Some of its most profound and irreversible effects occur during the early stages of development of the embryo or young offspring. The potential for serious or irreversible damage to occur as a result of exposure to endocrine disrupting substances is clear.
The World Wildlife Fund said the effects of NPEs can be seen over a long term. “These compounds don't kill you dead on the spot. They have very subtle, long term effects...and they can act in very small concentrations.”
“NPEs can also disrupt the body's hormonal system by mimicking the female hormone estrogen and high estrogen levels have been linked to birth defects, learning disabilities, even some forms of cancer. These chemicals are quite toxic, they aren't biodegradable and they can cause all sorts of problems. We think the industry should take precautionary action and stop using these compounds.”
Source: Julia Langer, WWF Director of Wildlife Toxicology.
What is being done?
European regulators, often accused of being too conservative, have completely banned the use of NPEs. Canada has also declared a ban on the use of NPEs for certain applications and is in the process of phasing them out completely. Japan is also seriously reviewing the issue.
While NPEs are a hotly contested topic, they are not presently banned in the United States, and, in fact, their use has increased due to their suitability for liquid detergents, their availability and the fact that they are inexpensive.
However, regulations regarding NPEs are on the near horizon.
United Laboratories is leading the charge by formulating without Nonylphenol Ethoxylates (NPEs).
In 2005, United’s Research and Development department did a comprehensive review of the Company’s existing product line. At that time, an attempt was made to revise the chemistry of all NPE-containing products.
While not a regulatory requirement at this time, United Laboratories has once again set itself apart from the industry by opting not to formulate any new products using NPEs.
As a result of that initiative, 100% of all products in United's line are NPE-Free!
Our NPE-replacements biodegrade much more quickly than NPEs in the environment. Therefore, they do not persist in the environment as long as NPE causing adverse effects. Moreover, our NPE-replacements are much more effective cleaner/degreasers than NPEs. This results in environmentally friendly cleaning products with enhanced cleaning power. This is just another example of how United Laboratories continues to provide leading-edge, innovative technologies for the ultimate in user and environmental safety and product efficacy.