Öko-Tex Standard 100, which specifies allowable levels of chemical substances known to be a health risk in textiles, has added several new items to the test list. The permissible limits are based on scientific fact and as an ongoing process are kept constantly under review.

  • Phthalates

    Concurrently with the EU decision to restrict the use of certain phthalate compounds, used primarily for the plasticisation of vinyl polymers such as PVC, Öko-Tex has introduced a limit value of 0.1 per cent for the total amount of six phthalates (DINP, DNOP, DEHP, DIDP, BBP & DBP). The analysis is carried out on a hexane extract.


    Following the recent alert concerning the presence of tributyl- and dibutyl-tin compounds in sportswear fabrics, Öko-Tex has introduced a limit value of 0.5 ppm TBT and 1 ppm DBT in baby articles. In other products TBT has a limit value of 1 ppm, but there is no restriction on DBT.

Product classes and groups
Öko-Tex has taken a more stringent stance on the mix of products allowed on any one certificate. While items can be grouped together on a certificate, groups must consist of either:
  • Cellulosic-, proteinaceous- or synthetic-based materials. Mixtures of different fibre types are allowed, but the predominant fibre decides which group the article belongs to;
  • Textiles (including garments) with physical differences only;
  • Articles that are composed of certified components.

Changes have also been made in certification. A certificate can only be made out for one class of product, (Class I: babies & infants under 2 years of age, Class II: direct skin contact, Class III: no direct skin contact and Class IV: household textiles), certificates for a mixture of classes will not be permitted from now on. This will not limit the scope of the certificate, because if a product conforms to Class I, it will automatically conform to all other Classes as well. Similarly, a product conforming to Class II will conform to Class III but not necessarily to Class I.

About the Öko-Tex standard
The Öko-Tex standard was developed by amalgamating a testing programme from the Austrian Textile Research Institute and the German Hohenstein Research Institute. Over 5900 certificates have been awarded since 1992 - with over 3000 textile manufacturers now involved. BTTG is the exclusive certifying body for the UK, accredited to undertake assessment in strict accordance with Öko-Tex specifications. In addition to this, BTTG's expertise is employed in experimentation to further the objectives of Öko-Tex. In addition to providing a full trusting and monitoring service, BTTG offers comprehensive guidance and advice to prospective and current holders of Öko-Tex certificates.

An Öko-Tex certificate is valid for one year but may be extended on application for a further year provided the granted conditions remain unchanged. Approved products may carry the official logo of the scheme. Application for Öko-Tex authorisation may be done through submitting the appropriate form the BTTG. Please request these via BTTG Customer Services in the usual way. For more information, visit the Öko-Tex website at www.oeko-tex.com.

About BTTG
BTTG has been the UK laboratory for Öko-Tex for 6 years providing guidance and advice on achieving Öko-Tex certification in addition to running a full testing and monitoring programme. Further information on any of the above items can be obtained from Dr Celia Terrill, operational head for Öko-Tex at BTTG, or from Customer Services at Didsbury.