Definitions for "Alkyl phenoxy polyethoxy ethanols"
(also nonyl phenoxy ethoxylate or nonyl phenol ethoxylate) This is a general name for a group of synthetic surfactants (see Surfactants below for more information). They are slow to biodegrade in the environment and have been implicated in chronic health problems. Researchers in England have found that in trace amounts they activate estrogen receptors in cells, which in turn alters the activity of certain genes. For example, in experiments they have been found to stimulate the growth of breast cancer cells and feminize male fish. One member of this family of chemicals is used as a common spermicide, indicating the general level of high biological toxicity associated with these compounds. Found in: Conventional laundry detergents, all-purpose cleaners, hard surface cleaners.