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Alkylphenols

Reliable and Effective


Products
Presentation Overview
Product Uses and Benefits
Environmental Safety
Human Safety
The Endocrine Hypothesis
Regulatory Status
APERC contact information

Alkylphenols & Ethoxylates


Research Council
Effective Products and the Science of Safety

Alkylphenol (AP) based products are high


performance, cost effective compounds with broad
regulatory acceptance worldwide
Alkylphenol based products are safe for the
environment when used as intended and handled
and disposed of properly
Normal exposures to alkylphenols, with
responsible handling, do not pose a significant
human health risk
Alkylphenols & Ethoxylates
Research Council
Product Applications

Surfactants
Primarily nonylphenol ethoxylates and
octylphenol ethoxylates
Excellent wetting, emulsifying and dispersant
properties
Good chemical stability
Cost-effective
Workhorse surfactant
Alkylphenols & Ethoxylates
Research Council
Product Applications

Nonylphenol Ethoxylates Applications:


Household, industrial and institutional
cleaners
Textile manufacturing
Pulp and paper processing
Emulsion polymerization
Industrial additive
Alkylphenols & Ethoxylates
Research Council
Product Applications
Nonylphenol Applications:
Phosphite antioxidants for a wide range
of polymer systems (TNPP)
Reclaiming agent for synthetic rubber
Hardeners for epoxy resins
PVC plasticizer intermediates

Alkylphenols & Ethoxylates


Research Council
Product Applications
Other Applications
pharmaceuticals
corrosion inhibitors
dyestuffs
insecticides/bactericides
chemical stabilizers
lube oils and fuels
personal care products

Alkylphenols & Ethoxylates


Research Council
Environmental Safety of APEs
Environmental Exposure
Environmental Effects
Environmental Treatment
Risk Assessment
NPE Environmental Management Program

Alkylphenols & Ethoxylates


Research Council
Environmental Exposure
North American studies show that environmental
concentrations of NP and NPEs are low
In 70% of US waterways NP and NPEs are below
detectable limits
In 30% of US sediment samples, NPEs are below
detectable limits
NP and NPEs are biodegradable and do not build
up in the environment

Alkylphenols & Ethoxylates


Research Council
Environmental Effects
Aquatic toxicity of nonylphenol occurs at high exposure
concentrations
A U.S. EPA study found no effects from nonylphenol
below 76 parts per billion
In a major U.S. study of 30 rivers, nonylphenol
concentrations were all measured well below 1 part per
billion
Nonylphenol has a low potential for bioaccumulation

Alkylphenols & Ethoxylates


Research Council
Environmental Treatment
Wastewater treatment facilities can
effectively and efficiently remove
nonylphenols and nonylphenol ethoxylates
from water prior to discharge
Studies in the US show removal rates of 95%
and greater under normally recommended
operating conditions

Alkylphenols & Ethoxylates


Research Council
Environmental Risk Assessment
North American monitoring studies show
that, in general, the levels of nonylphenol
found in the environment-even in industrial
rivers-are well below levels that may harm
aquatic organisms
U.S. EPA:
Nationwide, nonylphenol does not pose a
significant risk to aquatic organisms.
Alkylphenols & Ethoxylates
Research Council
NPE Environmental Management Program

Program Goals:
Promote the responsible environmental
management of NP and NPE among users
Provide guidance on pollution prevention and
control
Visit www.aperc.org for more information

Alkylphenols & Ethoxylates


Research Council
Human Safety of Nonylphenol
Human Exposure of Nonylphenol
Human Safety of Nonylphenol
Human Health Risk Assessment

Alkylphenols & Ethoxylates


Research Council
Exposure to Nonylphenol
Limited human exposure to nonylphenol through
use
Estimated daily intake is very low
Animal studies show that nonylphenol is:
Rapidly metabolized and excreted from the body
Not accumulated in the body
Not readily absorbed through skin
Studies in humans are consistent with the animal
data

Alkylphenols & Ethoxylates


Research Council
Effects of Nonylphenol
Animal studies using Nonylphenol conclude:
Not a selective, reproductive or developmental
toxicants
No effect on the fetus at doses below maternal
toxicity
No significant toxicity

Alkylphenols & Ethoxylates


Research Council
Human Health Risk Assessment

Human exposure to NP is very low


Under conditions of normal use, exposure
levels to NP are less than levels known to
cause effects in animal studies
Normal exposure to NP based products does
not pose a significant risk to human health

Alkylphenols & Ethoxylates


Research Council
The Endocrine Hypothesis
What is the Endocrine Hypothesis?
Wildlife Effects
Human Health Effects
Hormone Activity of Alkylphenols

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The Endocrine Disruption Hypothesis

Theory that hormonally active agents may


interfere with the natural activity of
hormones in the body
Popularized by 1996 publication of Our
Stolen Future
Under review by US EPA, European
Commission, Japans Environment Agency
and others
Alkylphenols & Ethoxylates
Research Council
Endocrine Effects
Wildlife
Endocrine modulated effects have been
observed in wildlife populations in areas
where the environment is very contaminated
Cause-and-effect relationship has not been
established between exposure to endocrine
chemicals and adverse effects in wildlife
Biomarker versus endocrine disruption

Alkylphenols & Ethoxylates


Research Council
Endocrine Effects
Human Health
NIEHS - Little evidence of harm to humans
at environmental levels
EPA - A causal relationship between
exposure to environmental substances and
effects on human health via endocrine
disruption have not been established
NAS - More research is needed to draw any
conclusions
Alkylphenols & Ethoxylates
Research Council
Endocrine Activity of Alkylphenols

Nonylphenol and octylphenol have estrogen-


receptor binding activity in vitro that is 100,000
times less active than real estrogen
Commercially available ethoxylates of
nonylphenol and octylphenol do not have
estrogenic properties in vitro or in vivo
Nonylphenol is estrogenic in vivo only at high
doses ( ~50mg/kg/day), 500 times higher than the
highest estimated daily intake
Alkylphenols & Ethoxylates
Research Council
Endocrine Activity of Alkylphenols

No adverse effects due to endocrine


disruption in NIEHS study of rats exposed to
nonylphenol and octylphenol for three
generations

Toxicity not endocrine issues - drive


regulatory risk assessment conclusions about
nonylphenol and nonylphenol ethoxylates in
North America
Alkylphenols & Ethoxylates
Research Council
Regulatory Issues
United States
Canada
European Union
Japan

Alkylphenols & Ethoxylates


Research Council
U.S. Regulatory Status
No present or pending regulatory
restrictions on use
EPA review of nonylphenol concluded no
widespread risk to aquatic organisms
EPA to establish water quality criteria for
nonylphenol

Alkylphenols & Ethoxylates


Research Council
U.S. Regulatory Status
FDA has regulatory authority for food-
contact materials
TNPP, nonylphenol ethoxylates and others
approved for food-contact uses

Alkylphenols & Ethoxylates


Research Council
Canadian Regulatory Status
Environment Canada and Health Canada
assessment of nonylphenol and its ethoxylates
Draft assessment issued April 1, 2000
No danger to the environment on which life depends
No danger to human health from environmental exposure
CEPA toxic due to untreated or partially treated discharge at
a limited number of sites
Final assessment expected late 2000
Risk Management discussions with stakeholders

Alkylphenols & Ethoxylates


Research Council
European Regulatory Status
EU Risk Assessment of nonylphenol near
completion
Theoretical, worst-case , environmental exposure
assessments in lieu of monitoring
Highly conservative assessment of effects
Draft proposal restricts nonylphenol ethoxylates use in
some applications
No restrictions on the use of TNPP
Few unilateral actions by member states
Alkylphenols & Ethoxylates
Research Council
Japanese Regulatory Status
Japans Environment Agency is monitoring
chemicals in the environment, including
APEs

Alkylphenols & Ethoxylates


Research Council
Conclusion
Alkylphenol-based products are high
performance, cost-effective compounds with
broad regulatory acceptance
Alkylphenol-based products are safe for the
environment when used as intended and
handled and disposed of properly
Normal exposures to alkylphenol-based
products do not pose a significant human
health risk
Alkylphenols & Ethoxylates
Research Council
For More Information:

Alkylphenols & Ethoxylates Research Council

www.aperc.org

Alkylphenols & Ethoxylates


Research Council