2. 2. 5. Prohibition of alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEO)

description relevant product categories 


APEOs are anionic surfactants (chemical compounds whose structure, consisting of at least one hydrophilic and one hydrophobic functional group, permit them to lower the surface tension between two substances). An important function of surfactants is the stabilisation of emulsions. In this case, they are referred to as “emulsifiers”. In the building industry, APEOs are used as additives in paints and varnishes, for metal treatment, as pore builder agents in concrete, release agents, bituminous and wax emulsions [Umweltbundesamt 2003].
In terms of quantities produced, nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEOs) are the most important APEOs. The main ecological problem of NPEOs is that they are broken down in the environment to nonylphenol compounds that are toxic to the aquatic environment and are very difficult to biodegrade. Nonylphenol (NP) is very toxic to aquatic organisms (R50/53). NP has been found to have oestrogenic effects and to be highly bioaccumulative (bioconcentration factors > 1000). It is not easily biodegradable. Particularly under anaerobic conditions, NP hardly degrades, and may consequently accumulate in water sediments. The risk assessment for 4-nonylphenol carried out at the EU level in the context of the evaluation of existing substances also revealed considerable environmental risks for various areas of use [EU 2001a], and need for risk reduction strategies [EU 2001b]. [Umweltbundesamt 2003]

minimum requirement

Coatings, plastering, gypsum boards and screed must not contain alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEOs).

Supporting documents:
Safety data sheet in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 as amended by Regulation (EU) No 453/2010, or manufacturer's confirmation.

All products bearing one of the following organic labels meet these criteria:

Alternatively, the corresponding baubook declaration may serve as evidence (www.baubook.info/oea).

background, sources

baubook green procurement
Harmonised “EcoBuildingCriteria” provided by “ÖkoKauf Wien” and “service package sustainable construction in Vorarlberg”