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EU countries agree textile chemical ban

July 21, 2015

EU countries agree textile chemical ban

Valerie Flynn for ENDS Europe, part of the Guardian Environment Network
Tuesday 21 July 2015 12.25 BST

EU member states have agreed to ban a toxic substance widely found in clothing because it poses an “unacceptable risk” to the environment.

Countries unanimously voted in favour of extending existing restrictions on nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPE) to imports of clothing and other textile products.

The measure is intended to protect aquatic species. Use of NPE in textile manufacture in Europe was banned over 10 years ago but the substance is still released into the aquatic environment through imported textiles being washed.

The proposal was brought forward by Sweden in 2013 and backed by scientists at the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).

NPE degrades in the environment into substances including nonylphenol (NP), which accumulates in the bodies of fish and disrupts their hormones, harming fertility, growth and sexual development.

Read more at The Guardian.

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