The Oeko-Tex Association has amended its existing guidelines with the addition of new substances and limit values for potentially harmful chemicals in the textile and leather supply chain, and plans to extend its STeP (Sustainable Textile Production) assessment to leather production facilities in 2019.
The testing and certification group makes annual updates to reinforce consumer protection and sustainability, which it says are based on feedback from industry stakeholders and monitoring of statutory regulations.
The new regulations will come into effect after a three-month transition period on 1 April 2019, with the following changes:
‘REACH Annex XVII CMR Legislation’ compliance Benzene and four amine salts have been included in the Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex and Leather Standard by Oeko-Tex, and limit values have been defined. Quinoline, which has been under observation by Oeko-Tex since 2018, is now also regulated with a limit value.
This means the two standards already comply with the requirements of the new ‘REACH Annex XVII CMR Legislation’ (Commission Regulation (EU) 2018/1513) addressing 33 CMR substances, even though it doesn’t come into force until 1 November 2020.
New additions to the limit value catalogues New to the limit value catalogues are various Substances of Very High Concern: these are the siloxanes D4, D5 and D6 as well as diazene-1,2-dicarboxamide (ADCA). A new requirement has also been made with regard to the extractable part of the metals barium and selenium.
In Annex 6 of the Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex, limit values have been made stricter for phthalates (softeners), alkylphenols and alkylphenol ethoxylates as well for per- and polyfluorinated compounds. The more stringent requirements for residues in textile materials will result in an overall lower impact on the environment, workers and consumers, Oeko-Tex says.
Glyphosate under observation In 2019 two new product groups will be under observation: glyphosate and its salts, as well as the carcinogenic N-nitrosamines and N-nitrosatable substances.
Glyphosate products in particular, currently the quantitatively most important ingredient in herbicides, received a lot of media attention during 2017 and 2018 and were the subject of fierce debate around the world. At the end of 2017, approval for glyphosate and for further use was only temporarily extended by the EU to five years – under protest from different consumer groups and environmentalists. With the “Under observation” action, the Oeko-Tex Association is now looking more closely at the substance group in textile materials and is analysing the situation in more detail.
Expanded product portfolio for sustainable production The STeP assessment will be extended to leather production facilities in 2019. The name will also be changed in the course of this integration: “Sustainable Textile Production” will become “Sustainable Textile and Leather Production” – the product name STeP remains the same.