The new test criteria for product certification under OEKO-TEX® Standard 100, published by the International OEKO-TEX Association at the beginning of the year, became mandatory for all certification processes on April 1, 2011. OEKO-TEX certification also covers all textile-relevant SVHCs (substances of very high concern) on the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) candidate list, including the eight chemicals added on Dec. 15, 2010, under the REACH legislation. Each certificate also confirms that the certified articles comply with the current requirements of Annex XVII of the REACH regulations on restricted substances such as azo dyes and nickel.
Since 1992, the OEKO-TEX Standard 100 has been ensuring that undesirable substances are effectively excluded from the manufacture of textile products of all kinds. In its human ecology specifications, it goes well beyond legal requirements in some cases. Since the REACH regulations were first implemented, the OEKO-TEX Association has monitored the SVHC substances that are identified and published in the candidate list. If new candidate substances are relevant to textile production and are not yet included in the list of criteria as separate test parameters, OEKO-TEX checks whether to include them explicitly, to facilitate comparisons with other harmful substance regulations.
Under the current terms of the REACH regulations, all companies in the EU are obliged to inform customers and end users and, beginning on June 1, 2011, also to notify the ECHA if the goods they produce contain SVHC substances in volumes of more than 0.1 per cent by mass and the total volume exceeds one ton per year.
For more information on REACH regulations, visit http://ec.europa.eu/environment/chemicals/reach/reach_intro.htm. For details on the new OEKO-TEX test criteria, visit www.oeko-tex.com/institute.