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Subject: Synperonic N

Synperonic N

From: Mark Vine <100436.3447>
Date: Monday, March 27, 2000
A number of inaccuracies have been published pertaining to the
status of surfactant products such as Synperonic N and it is perhaps
worth reminding ourselves how all this came about.

The biodegradability of nonylphenol ethoxylates, which includes
Synperonic N is very temperature sensitive, we now know that they
have poor biodegradability and that the metabolites, principally
nonyl phenol, accumulate in the fatty tissue of aquatic organisms
where they are believed to have oestrogenic effects.

In 1992 the Oslo and Paris Commissions (OSPAR) as a direct
consequence of these concerns issued recommendations that the use of
nonylphenol ethoxylates as detergents (such as Synperonic N) should
be phased out by 1995 for domestic use and by 2000 for industrial

These were known as PARCOM recommendation 92/8, which were ratified
by 13 European countries. Although the commission has no legal
powers,local authorities could stop it being discharged to the

There is apparently no restriction on the use of this material for
applications which do not result in it going to the drains (if there
are any) and at present, at any rate, there is according to the
chemical manufacturers no suggestion that the manufacture of alkyl
phenol ethoxylates will be banned.

Nonylphenol ethoxylates are very versatile surfactants which have
been used for several purposes and it has been recognised by the
chemical manufacturer that their replacement may well require more
than one alcohol ethoxylate.

One replacement now in use by Conservators here in the UK is
Synperonic A7, which has been used in the industrial sector for many
years prior as a fabric washing product.

Synperonic A7 is a 100% active product which is used at much lower
levels than Synperonic N (which was 27% active) and Synperonic NDB
(which was 13.5% active).

To make a clear 27% active solution one takes 27 gms of Synperonic
A7 and warms it until it is a clear liquid,then one adds it
gradually with good stirring to 73 gms of water warmed to 30-40
degrees C resulting in a clear solution of 27% active material. One
can now use Synperonic A7 as one would have used the original
Synperonic "N" quality to cleanse a wide variety of both porous and
non-porous substrates.

A number of eminent Conservation Scientists and Textile Conservators
are presently involved in research here in England into the effects
of using a variety of detergent products and their findings are due
to be published towards the end of this year in various learned

For now though we will be pleased to provide technical data, MSDS
information and even a sample of Synperonic A7 to any interested

Mark G. Vine
Conservation Resources (UK) Ltd
44 1865 747755
Fax +44 1865 747035

                  Conservation DistList Instance 13:49
                 Distributed: Thursday, March 30, 2000
                       Message Id: cdl-13-49-003
Received on Monday, 27 March, 2000

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