APE voluntary agreement finalised

A voluntary agreement by industry to discontinue the use of alkyl phenols and their ethoxylates (AP/APEs) has been finalised, with only eight months to go before an EU ban comes into force.1

The Environment Department (DEFRA) announced the agreement had been finalised on 29 April following a consultation exercise which began in October last year (ENDS Report 345, p 43). The Chemicals Stakeholder Forum recommended that the Government seek an agreement to speed the phase-out of the compounds, which have been widely used as surfactants in industrial cleaning products.

APEs break down to APs which are toxic to aquatic life and oestrogenic to fish. They may also pose a risk to soil organisms when sewage sludge is spread on land.

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