The California Department of Toxic Substances Control has proposed listing nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs) in laundry detergent as a Priority Product. This would require manufacturers to use safer alternatives. The detergents at issue are used by on-premises industrial laundries like hotels and hospitals.
DTSC is concerned about the hazard traits of NPEs and their degradation products. NPEs are included on the European Union’s list of Substances of Very High Concern. Laundry detergents with NPEs are sources of exposure to the environment and aquatic organisms. In May, DTSC released a technical document Product-Chemical Profile for NPEs in Laundry Detergent, to explain the scientific, regulatory, and policy basis for the proposal. The Department held a public workshop on June 11, 2018 to discuss its proposal. DTSC is now preparing to undertake a rulemaking on these products.