Author: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer

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Last updated on: 29.10.2020

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Nonylphenoxy-polyethylene glycol

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Nonoxynol is a reaction product of nonylphenol and ethylene oxide. Each of the nonoximal names is assigned a number (e.g. nonoxynol-4) which indicates the approximate number of ethylene oxide molecules. For nonoxynol-4, for example, these are 4 ethylene oxides.

Depending on the number of ethylene oxide molecules (nonoxynol-1 - 100) the substances can be liquid, paste-like or wax-like.

They are used in cosmetic formulations and have surfactant and emulsifying properties. Some nonoxynols are used as anti-conceptives (vaginal foam) due to their spermicidal effect.


Last updated on: 29.10.2020