Alkylphenols and Alkylphenol Ethoxylates (AP/APEs) are non-ionic surfactants (detergent-like substances) used in industrial processes and consumer products such as laundry detergents, personal hygiene, automotive, latex paints, and lawn care products. Of the Alkylphenols, Nonylphenols or Nonylphenol Ethoxylates (NP/NPEs) are thought to be of most concern thanks to their persistence in the aquatic environment, moderate bioaccumulative properties, toxicity to aquatic organisms and endocrine-disruption potential.


SGS AXYS offers two methods for the analysis of four biologically important alkylphenols: 4-nonylphenol (NP), 4-n-octylphenol (OP), 4-nonylphenol monoethoxylate (NP1EO) and 4-nonylphenol diethoxylate (NP2EO).

  • GC-MS: Analysis of four alkylphenols in solids, aqueous samples and water sampling devices.
  • LC-MS/MS method: Analysis of four alkylphenols in tissues.

Application Spotlight

Image of zebra mussels

SGS AXYS and the San Francisco Estuary Institute (SFEI) collaborated on a pioneering study measuring a suite of 104 PPCPs and alkylphenols in San Francisco Bay Area Mussels. This study is the first reconnaissance of PPCPs in mussels living in an urban estuary. SGS AXYS developed and validated methods for low level detection of 104 PPCPs and alkylphenols in mussels and 36 PPCPs and 3 APs were detected in at least one Bay sample.

This study was published by Environmental International in 2013.