The dynamics of textile firm responses to the restriction of endocrine disrupting surfactants: a Vietnam case study

Hien Thi Thanh Ho, Tsunemi Watanabe*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Since textile industry has been claimed to endanger the environment and human health, the insight of textile firm behavior regarding chemical use and discharge is vital for designing environmental risk management strategies. This study aimed to explore the dynamics of responses to the restriction of nonylphenol (NP) and its ethoxylates (NPEOs) among the Vietnamese textile manufacturers from the perspectives of attitude and the perceptions of adaptabilities, risks, benefits, and barriers. The chemicals are used as surfactants and are known to be responsible for endocrine disrupting effects. In-depth interviews were conducted with technical specialists from four textile firms and one chemical supplier. Regulatory and market situations with regards to the chemicals were also assessed. The findings revealed varied responses to chemical elimination where perceived technical risk, financial risk, benefits, and barriers played different roles in driving a certain action. The attitude towards chemical restriction was shaped by the trade-off between perceptions of financial risk and benefits and was moderated by market strategy. Efforts, such as enhanced washing or reductions in the dose of NP/NPEOs, imply the potency of continuous discharge of these chemicals into the environment, suggesting critical investigations on NP/NPEOs removal to prioritize actions for balancing between economic growth and environmental protection. Poor access to new policies and technological and chemical innovations was the most important barrier among private firms, highlighting the roles of non-governmental textile and garment industrial/trade associations in enhancing their members’ informative capacity. The study reflects the significance of incorporation of firm behavior research into environmental risk management practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)504-521
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Risk Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2020
Externally publishedYes


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