The International OEKO-TEX® Association has updated its criteria and limit values for use when testing textiles for harmful substances in accordance with the OEKO-TEX Standard 100. For many years, the list of criteria has provided effective protection against undesirable chemical substances, and it is used successfully by the textile and clothing industry and many retailers and distributors for quality control in this area. The list also takes into account the regulations on harmful substances under the European REACH legislation.
After a three-month transitional period, the following new regulations will come into force for all OEKO-TEX certification processes:
- Short chain (C10 to C13) chlorinated paraffins and tris(2-chloroethyl)phosphate will now, in view of their classification as Substances of Very High Concern in the latest ECHA Candidate List, be explicitly included in the list of banned flame-retarding substances.
- A standard limit value of 90 ppm for total lead content has been set for all four OEKO-TEX product classes, a limit which is well below that currently required by U.S. legislation (CPSIA, Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act) of 300 ppm or, from August 2011, 100 ppm for articles for babies and children. The most essential requirement will remain testing for extractable heavy metals using a controlled sweat solution, a method that gives more meaningful results with regard to possible health risks.
The universal on-site visits which were introduced at the start of 2010 as a component of OEKO-TEX certification will continue as planned. The goal is to visit all companies holding an OEKO-TEX certificate by the end of 2013, in order to provide targeted assistance in implementing the required criteria in their quality control procedures, optimise the framework conditions for certification as far as possible and give companies practical tips on product labelling and using the OEKO-TEX label in their advertising.