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Hazardous Chemicals To Be Eliminated Say Major Clothing and Shoe Makers

Big name global manufacturers of apparel and shoes have announced a list of hazardous chemicals mapped for phase out by 2020.

A comprehensive list of chemicals to be removed or researched will be published in 2015, says The Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals Group (ZDHC), an environmental, health and safety advocacy.  The plan is called the Joint Roadmap.

The Roadmap was conceived and implemented, based on comments and requests from textile and garment industry brands, makers and industry associations; government agencies in Asia , Europe, and the US; from the chemical industry and other interested parties.

Among the iconic global brands joining in this cooperative effort are Addidas, Esprit, H & M Levi Strauss, Nike Inc.,and other members of the ZDHC Group.

“To achieve the goal of systemic change and commercialization of new, preferred alternative chemistries, we will need to transform the industry manufacturing inputs and processes,” said Jessica Wollmuth, ZDHC Program Manager. “This requires full collaboration amongst thousands of organizations.”

Referring to the newly announced plans to rid the apparel and textile industries of the hazardous chemicals designated above, and others not listed, Wollmuth said, “Good progress has been achieved thus far, and the Joint Roadmap, Version 2, lays a firm foundation for creating an apparel and footwear industry that delivers high-quality products using safe chemistries.”

In 2011 The Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals Group cited the nine classes of chemicals cited below in their “Joint Roadmap Version 1,” in an initiative to determine their use in members’ products, and how much of them are used.  These are among the chemicals earmarked for elimination.

Chemical Classes

Azo dyes

Brominated and chlorinated flame retardants


Chlorinated solvents


Heavy Metals

Organotin compounds


Short-chained chlorinated paraffins.

Two additional categories of chemicals were also listed, including perfluorinated compounds and alkyl phenol ethhoxylates.

Immediate beneficiaries of the ZDHC program will be consumers and workers, and eventually the textile, clothing and shoe industries, as their image becomes more lustrous as the public becomes aware of their safety and environmental efforts.