NONYLPHENOL ETHOXYLATES (NPES)
Found in: liquid laundry detergents, stain removers, all-purpose cleaners, air fresheners, toilet bowl cleaners, degreasers, and car wash products.
Health Risks: Degrade into nonylphenols (NPs), which can mimic the hormone estrogen. In laboratory experiments, NP has been shown to stimulate the growth of human breast cancer cells and cause adverse reproductive effects in fish and other aquatic organisms. Several chemicals in this class are listed as toxic substances under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. Environment Canada required companies to develop plans to reduce NPEs in cleaning products (as well as textiles and pulp and paper products) by 95 per cent by the end of 2010, but stopped short of banning these chemicals. As of July 2010, only 63 per cent of manufacturing facilities subject to the planning requirement had met the target, although the use of these chemicals in products has declined significantly.