APEOs (Alkylphenol ethoxylates) are a group of organic compounds often found in textile and leather products as a result of chemicals used in manufacturing. APEOs break down into compounds that are toxic to fish and invertebrates, that don’t break down easily, and that can potentially impact human reproductive, neurological, and immune systems.
Tightened restrictions for products imported or sold in the EU can keep textile and footwear products off the market and lead to fines, injunctions, criminal charges, bad press, and seizure or destruction of goods. A partnership with an experienced and dedicated third-party lab testing, audit, and certification service can help you avoid product failures due to APEO contamination and determine why a product failure has occurred.
QIMA is an established industry leader in quality testing, audit and inspection. We stay current on national and international regulatory standards, we can customize our service for client-specific requirements, and we can deliver rapid lab testing, audit and inspection reports at all stages of your product’s life cycle.
APEO metabolites, primarily nonylphenol, are not only toxic to aquatic wildlife. They are stored in fatty tissues and accumulate, then they can move up the food chain. Studies examining the effects of APEOs and their metabolites on people suggest they have an impact on fertility and unborn children.
APEO metabolites don’t break down easily. They persist and accumulate in aquatic environments. Treatments can remove large amounts of APEOs, but not all wastewater is adequately treated. APEOs and their metabolites are in our food and drinking water. The effects are cumulative and continued use of APEOs only adds to the amount of nonylphenol in the environment.
Most APEO pollution comes from industrial sources, but residues in final products can also end up in the environment through washing or exposure to the elements. APEOs have been used in textile manufacturing for decades. They can be found in:
Due to the proliferation of APEOs in the industry for decades, clothing, footwear, bags and many other products can end up with residual APEOs, regardless of whether APEO were used intentionally. For products imported to or sold in the EU, REACH regulation limits the concentration of APEOs to 0.01% or 100ppm.
To minimize APEO contamination risks:
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