Alkylphenols

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Alkylphenols, such as nonylphenol and octylphenol, are chemical compounds that are mainly used to make alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEs), a class of synthetic surfactants used in detergents and cleaning products.[1][2] However, alkylphenols can be used alone as plasticizers in plastics, or as antibiotics in plastics and rubber products. Also, their derivatives, alkylphenol phosphites, can be used as UV stabilizers in plastics. Alkylphenols have been found in sewage sludge.[3]

Uses

Alkylphenols and their derivatives are used in detergents, plastics, and rubber products. Additionally, they are used in pesticides, lube oil, hair dyes and other hair care products, and as nonoxynol-9 in spermicides.[4]

Alkylphenols as Endocrine Disruptors

Two alkyphenols, nonylphenol and octylphenol, have been identified as suspected hormone disruptors.[5] These chemicals mimic estrogen in the human body. According to the website Healthy Child Healthy World:[6]

"APEs do not biodegrade easily after they are washed down the drain. As a result, nonylphenol has been found in water and sediment downstream from sewage treatment plants, paper pulp mills, and industrial facilities. Some studies have found altered reproduction, feminization, hermaphrodism, and lower survival rates in salmon and other fish living in nonylphenol-contaminated water. These effects have been found in wildlife even at low doses."

"Nonylphenol has also been detected in a wide range of foods."

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles

References

  1. [alkylphenols and alkylphenol ethoxylates, Chemical Encyclopedia, Healthy Child Healthy World, Accessed November 9, 2010.
  2. Alkylphenolic Compounds - Introduction, Accessed November 9, 2010.
  3. 4-Nonylphenol in sewage sludge: accumulation of toxic metabolites from nonionic surfactants, Sciencemag.org website, Accessed August 2nd, 2010.
  4. [alkylphenols and alkylphenol ethoxylates, Chemical Encyclopedia, Healthy Child Healthy World, Accessed November 9, 2010.
  5. [alkylphenols and alkylphenol ethoxylates, Chemical Encyclopedia, Healthy Child Healthy World, Accessed November 9, 2010.
  6. [alkylphenols and alkylphenol ethoxylates, Chemical Encyclopedia, Healthy Child Healthy World, Accessed November 9, 2010.

External resources

External articles

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