At the start of the year, the OEKO-TEX® Association as usual updated the applicable test criteria and limit values for product certification in accordance with STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX®. The following new regulations come into effect on April 1, 2019 for all certifications, following a three-month transition period:
• The substance benzene has been included at the parameter „other chemical residues“ for all product classes; for the substance quinoline, which has been under observation by OEKO-TEX® since 2018, the limit value of
< 50 mg/kg has been fixed. Furthermore, four amine salts (cf. Annex 5 resp. 7 of STANDARD 100) has been incorporated, which are examined together with the test for „aryl amines having carcinogenic properties“.
• In the course of „standardisation“ of the limit value requirements, the requirement „<“ now applies for nearly all limit values.
For over 25 years, the OEKO-TEX®‘s strategy has been to be proactive in the field of consumer protection as a pioneer and not to wait for legislation. Due to that as a result of the implementation of the above-mentioned few additional measures, the STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® already covers the requirements of the new „REACH Annex XVII CMR legislation (Commission Regulation (EU) 2018/1513)“, which adresses 33 CMR substances. This legislation admittedly entered into force in November 2018, however, will be applied for products only from 1 November 2020. In contrast to this, most of these substances have already been considered and regulated in the OEKO-TEX® criteria catalogue since many years.
Further new substance additions to the criteria catalogues (Annex 4 and 6):
• At parameter „extractable (heavy) metals“: Barium with limit value < 1000 mg/kg (all product classes)
Selenium with limit value < 100 mg/kg (all product classes)
• At parameter „other chemical residues“: SVHC substance diazene-1,2-dicarboxamide (ADCA) with
limit value < 0.1 % (< 1000 mg/kg; all product classes)
Diazene-1,2-dicarboxamide can be used specifically for the production of foams, thermoplastics and epoxy resins as blowing agent.
• The siloxanes D4, D5 and D6, which were classified recently as Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC), have been added with a limit value of < 0.1 % (< 1000 mg/kg) for all product classes under the new parameter „siloxanes“.
From today’s point of view the siloxanes can be relevant for silicones, silicone finishing, silicone coatings, silicone prints, softener relevant samples, samples with soft gripe, water, soil or oil repellent finish, etc.
• At the group of phthalates (softeners) the substance dimethylphthalate has been additionally included.
• Additional to the short chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCP), which are regulated in STANDARD 100 since many years, now also the medium chain chlorinated paraffins (MCCP) have been incorporated. Both substance groups are now covered in the new parameter „chlorinated paraffins“ and the requirement now is stipulated for all product classes with „sum of SCCP and MCCP: < 50 mg/kg“.
New under observation (Annex 4 and 6):
• Glyphosate and salts
• Carcinogenic N-nitrosamines as well as N-nitrosatable substances
Glyphosate products, currently the quantitatively most important ingredient in herbicides, received a lot of media attention in 2017 and 2018 and were the subject of fierce controversial debates around the world. With the action
„under observation“, OEKO-TEX® is now looking more closely at the mentioned substance groups in relevant materials and is analyzing the situation in more detail.
Tightening of limit values:
• Formaldehyde, free and partially releasable; Annex 4 and 6: product class III: < 150 mg/kg (so far 300 mg/kg)
• Aniline (cleavable and also in free manner):
Annex 4: product class I: < 20 mg/kg (so far 100 mg/kg) product classes II – IV: < 50 mg/kg (so far 100 mg/kg)
Annex 6: all product classes: < 20 mg/kg (so far 100 mg/kg)
• Tris(2-chloroethyl)phosphate (TCEP):
Annex 4: all product classes: < 10 mg/kg (so far 1000 mg/kg)
Annex 6: all product classes: < 10 mg/kg (so far 10 mg/kg)
• Annex 4, solvent residues (NMP, DMAc and DMF):
The requirements were equalized with those already existing in Annex 6 (cf. STANDARD 100).
• Flame retardant products (Annex 4 and 6):
Disodium octaborate and the medium chain chlorinated paraffins (MCCP) have been newly added. Further- more, the requirements were adjusted (each single substance: < 10 mg/kg; sum of SCCP and MCCP: < 50 mg/kg; sum of all: < 50 mg/kg).
• Annex 6: Regarding the parameters phthalates (softeners), per- and polyfluorinated compounds (PFCs) as well as alkylphenols (APs) and alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEOs), the limit values have been reduced. For more details it is referred to the lists of Annex 6 in STANDARD 100. The now even more stringent requirements for residues in materials will result in an overall lower impact on the environment, workers and consumers.
Regarding Annex 6 – parameter „other VOCs and glycols“ – the transition period for special accessories and small parts was prolongated until 31 March 2020.
Through many of these new requirements, OEKO-TEX® still strongly supports not only the „Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC)“ initiative but also the „Detox Campaign“. In this way, OEKO-TEX® is able to strengthen awareness concerning the handling of potentially hazardous substances in textile products and accessories throughout the textile manufacturing chain and to play a pioneering role in contributing to effective consumer protection.