They have been widely used in detergents, plastics and pesticides. Large amounts of the produced APEs end up in the marine ecosystem. It can be degraded to nonylphenol and octylphenol, which are both more toxic and can act as endocrine disrupting compounds by behaving as estrogens.
The use of alkylphenol ethoxylates has been banned or restricted.
- Verslycke, T.; Vethaak, A.D.; Arijs, K.; Janssen, C.R. (2004). Flame retardants, surfactants and organotins in sediment and mysid shrimp of the Scheldt estuary (The Netherlands). Environ. Poll. 136(1): 19-31
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