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Definition of alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEs):
A mixture of chemicals which can be used as surfactants[1]
This is the common definition for alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEs), other definitions can be discussed in the article


They have been widely used in detergents, plastics and pesticides. Large amounts of the produced APEs end up in the marine ecosystem. It can be degraded to nonylphenol and octylphenol, which are both more toxic and can act as endocrine disrupting compounds by behaving as estrogens.

The use of alkylphenol ethoxylates has been banned or restricted[2].

Case studies

Flame retardants organotin compounds and surfactants in opossum shrimps of the Scheldt estuary.


  1. http://website.lineone.net August 27 2009
  2. Verslycke, T.; Vethaak, A.D.; Arijs, K.; Janssen, C.R. (2004). Flame retardants, surfactants and organotins in sediment and mysid shrimp of the Scheldt estuary (The Netherlands). Environ. Poll. 136(1): 19-31