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Nonylphenol and Nonylphenol Ethoxylates Action Plan Summary

What chemicals are addressed in the action plan?

This action plan, released August 18, 2010, addresses nonylphenol (NP) and nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs).

Why is EPA concerned about these chemicals?

NP and NPEs are produced in large volumes, with uses that lead to widespread release to the aquatic environment.

NP is persistent in the aquatic environment, moderately bioaccumulative, and extremely toxic to aquatic organisms. NP has also been shown to exhibit estrogenic properties in in vitro and in vivo assays. NP’s main use is in the manufacture of NPEs.

NPEs are nonionic surfactants that are used in a wide variety of industrial applications and consumer products. Many of these, such as laundry detergents, are “down-the-drain” applications. Some others, such as dust-control agents and deicers, lead to direct release to the environment. NPEs, though less toxic and persistent than NP, are also highly toxic to aquatic organisms, and, in the environment, degrade into NP.

NP and NPEs have been found in environmental samples taken from freshwater, saltwater, groundwater, sediment, soil and aquatic biota. NP has also been detected in human breast milk, blood, and urine and is associated with reproductive and developmental effects in rodents.

What action is EPA taking?

EPA is initiating both voluntary and regulatory actions to manage potential risks from NP and NPEs. EPA intends to:

Previous Actions:

Read the citizens TSCA section 21 petition regarding NP and NPEs (PDF) (17 pp. 920 kb, About PDF).

Read about EPA’s response to the section 21 petition.

Read about the advance notice of proposed rulemaking for testing NP and NPEs.

Access the public docket for this previous action (Docket ID EPA-HQ-OPPT-2007-0490) on Regulations.gov.

Current Actions:

Download the complete Nonylphenol (NP) and Nonylphenol Ethoxylates (NPEs) Action Plan (PDF), (13 pp., 133KB, About PDF).

Access the public comment docket for the Nonylphenol (NP) and Nonylphenol Ethoxylates (NPEs) Action Plan (Docket ID EPA-HQ-OPPT-2010-0558) on Regulations.gov.

Access the Design for the Environment (DfE) Alternatives Assessment for Nonylphenol Ethoxylates.

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