Category Cleaning Agents

What dairy farmers should know about NPEs

By Dale Baker
AgroChem Inc. Hoof Care Technical Expert

environmental shot

As you may know, NPEs (Nonylphenol Exthoxylates) are widely used to manufacture teat dips and dairy cleaning agents. They are endocrine disrupters that are produced in large volumes and are highly toxic to aquatic life. They also can have negative effects on both animals and humans. At one time, NPEs were commonly used in household laundry detergents but in 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and detergent manufacturers decided to eliminate them.

NPEs are now banned by the European Union. Some milk buyers in Europe, China and other countries are no longer purchasing milk from farms that use NPEs.

If you are using NPEs in any of your dairy products you may want to consider switching to 100% NPE-free solutions. The vast majority of AgroChem teat dips, detergents, sanitizers — and, yes, hoof care products — are made using safer alternatives that have not been shown to be toxic to aquatic life, nor genotoxic mutagenic, or carcinogenic.

For more information on the safer, NPE-free solutions for your dairy operation, consult your hoof trimmer or veterinarian.


U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Nonylphenol (NP) and Nonylphenol Ethoxylates (NPEs) Action Plan. August 18, 2010.