What Is Ethoxylated-Phenol & Is It Safe?

Ethoxylated-phenol, also known as nonylphenols (NP) and nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs), are commonly used as emulsifiers in everyday items. These chemicals are toxic for the environment, and are especially dangerous to aquatic lands [1]. NP/NPEs may also be considered unsafe for young children, fetus development, and the reproductive system [2]. Million Marker recommends avoiding ethoxylated-phenol.   


What Products Have Ethoxylated-phenol In Them?

Ethoxylated-phenol can be found in [2]:

  • House paints

  • Colorants 

  • Wood finishes

  • Clothing

  • Pharmaceuticals

  • Paint and stain removers

  • Surface and drain cleaners

  • Footwear

  • Toys and games 

As manufacturing antioxidants they are also found in

  • Lubricating oil additives

  • Laundry and dish detergents

  • Emulsifiers

  • Solubilizers 

Is Ethoxylated-phenol Safe?

NP/NPEs and their metabolites are highly bioaccumulative [3]. Concerns over ethoxylated-phenol have been associated with hormonal interference, as well as other negative health impacts. As endocrine disruptors, ethoxylated-phenol may influence implantation failure, pregnancy loss, and further fertility complications [2]. 

Health Impacts of Ethoxylated-phenol Products

Health impacts related to ethoxylated-phenol include the following [2]:

How to Avoid Ethoxylated-phenol 

Million Marker does not consider NP/NPEs safe. 

Avoid ethoxylated-phenol by:

  • Washing new clothes before using them with toxic-free laundry detergent, like AspenClean.  

  • Asking manufacturers to use safer alternatives for paint mixtures.

  • Using ethoxylated-phenol-free dish soap, like Meliora, FIT Organic, or Etee

  • Avoiding synthetic rubber, plastics, and foams.

  • Talk to your pharmacist about natural emulsifiers. 

You can find our recommended personal care products on our Approved Products list!



[1] https://www.epa.gov/assessing-and-managing-chemicals-under-tsca/fact-sheet-nonylphenols-and-nonylphenol-ethoxylates 

[2] https://saferchemicals.org/get-the-facts/toxic-chemicals/npes-nonylphenol-ethoxylates/ 

[3] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20480766/