Members of the European Union have unanimously voted to expand the ban on nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs) to include clothing that’s imported into member nations. While NPE use in production is already banned in the EU, NPE use in Asian manufacturing locations has continued to be a concern.
It prohibits placing on the market textile articles that are likely to be washed in water during their normal lifecycle if their NPE content is at least 0.01 percent by weight (100mg/kg). It allows exemptions for secondhand textile articles and new textile articles produced exclusively from recycled textiles.
The European Commission issued a draft regulation in April that introduced a restriction on the use of NPEs in textile articles. The Commission notified the draft Regulation to the World Trade Organization on April 16.
The European Commission is expected to approve the ban in just weeks; within five years the ban will take effect.