Nonylphenol ethoxylates and related substances (C15H24O(C2H4O)n; with n = number of ethoxy units, 1 to e.g. 40)

Other names



  • group of non-ionic tensides (derived from nonylphenol)
  • nonylphenol: colourless to yellowish, syrupy liquid
  • nonylphenol: insoluble in water

Main sources

  • detergents, emulsifying agents, surfactants, defoaming agents, inhibitors, disinfectants
  • residues in textiles
  • sewage

Thresholds for the reporting requirement of facilities in accordance with Annex 2 PRTRO

(Ordinance on the Register relating to Pollutant Release and the Transfer of Waste and of Pollutants in Waste Water)

  • Air                -
  • Water          1 kg/year
  • Soil              1 kg/year


  • incompletely broken down in sewage treatment plants: creates nonylphenol
  • nonoxinol-9: spermicide and anti-viral agent
  • nonylphenol: estrogenic effect
  • nonylphenol: high degree of bioaccumulation


  • banned since 2003 in the EU

Last modification 16.12.2016

Top of page