EPA to limit the use of substances found to cause infertility

EPA to limit the use of substances found to cause infertility:

The Environmental Protection Administration plans to restrict the use of two substances in cleaners and detergents because they have proven hazardous to animals and humans, an official said yesterday.

Nonylphenol (NP) and nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPE or NPEO) are the two substances in question.

NPE, a derivative of NP, is nonionic surfactant widely used in laundry detergents, dishwashing detergents, toilet cleaners, car cleaners and glass cleaners. Mixed with water, NPE will break back down into NP -- which is insoluble in water, and therefore remain in soil, rivers and groundwater.

According to the environmental agency's 2003 report, NP was found in 66.7 percent of rivers in Taiwan. Although the figure fell to 19.5 percent of rivers in 2004, the official said NP and NPE still present urgent environmental hazards.

(...) The official said that in EU countries the use of NP and NPE has already been limited to no more than 0.1 percent of a product. However, NP and NPE are still widely used in Taiwan as they are much cheaper than other chemicals, he said.

Emphasis added.