NIKE, Inc.’s Response to the Use of NPEs
August 23, 2011
NIKE, Inc. is committed to high standards of consumer and environmental safety for all of our products. For this reason we have a Restricted Substances List (RSL) and Sustainable Chemistry Guidance (SCG) program. (www.nikeresponsibility.com)
Nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEO or NPE) are a class of chemical substances that belong to the general family of chemicals known as alkylphenols (AP) and alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEO). They are common ingredients in detergents used in industrial laundries and cleaning products and also have uses in the textile, paper, metal-working, paint and coating, and agrochemical industries.
Traces of NPEOs may be found in new apparel and footwear products from their use in the washing, printing, and dyeing steps of textile manufacturing. The traces of NPEO found in finished clothing are legally permissible but due to their potential impact on the environment1 NIKE, Inc. has placed these chemicals on the most recent update2 of the Nike Restricted Substances List (RSL) and the Manufacturing Restricted Substances List (MRSL).
1 Greenpeace International states in their report “Dirty Laundry 2: Hung Out to Dry” that the levels of NPEOs that they report detected in clothing articles “are not known to constitute any direct health risk to the wearers of the clothing”. 2 Nike’s most recent update of its Restricted Substance List (RSL) was in August 2011.