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Oeko-Tex Expands Compliance Regulations for 2018

Oeko-Tex is stepping up consumer protection and sustainability in the greater textile supply chain with a new range of compliance regulations.

This week, the independent certification authority announced that it updated the existing guidelines of its product portfolio. Following a three-month transition period, the new regulations will come into effect on April 1 for Oeko-Tex’s certification systems.

Cooperation with compliance initiatives, the continuous exchange of experience with industry stakeholders and the monitoring of legal regulations shaped the updated standards, which will help enable textile companies worldwide to opt for more sustainable sourcing and production practices.

Detox to Zero by Oeko-Tex

Detox to Zero, which allows textile manufacturers to evaluate their chemical management systems and wastewater quality through independent verification, will be restructured to improve usability. Since the Detox to Zero Manufacturing Restricted Substances List (MRSL) is comparable to the STeP by Oeko-Tex certification’s MRSL, Detox to Zero can fully merge into STeP. Detox to Zero customers can shift to Oeko-Tex’s STeP certification at any time–which will enable them to assess chemical management, environmental performance and quality management at textile production facilities.

Eco Passport by Oeko-Tex

The Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC)—an universal program that omits the use of hazardous chemicals in product supply chains—now accepts Eco Passport as an indicator of conformity with its textile production MRSL list. Companies can have their products certified by the ZDHC Chemical Gateway and Eco Passport, since both standards ensure chemical suppliers’ products are sustainable enough for textile production.

Oeko-Tex also updated Eco Passport’s regulations. New Eco Passport substances include Bisphenol A, the aromatic amine aniline and additional alkylphenols (pentyl- and heptylphenol). Previously, an individual certificate was issued out for every product category, however, the new regulations enable companies to list up to five products from different categories on Eco Passport certificates. Additionally, chemical importers, chemical manufacturers and retailers are all eligible to certify their chemicals under Eco Passport. Starting this year, more analytical testing will be required to receive an Eco Passport certificate, since chemical manufactures are no longer required to share their secret formulas.

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[Read more about textile compliance: Sustainability May be the Best Way to Skirt Compliance Risks]

Leather Standard by Oeko-Tex

New testing regulations will take place for Oeko-Tex’s Leather Standard.

For the parameter, “Other chemical residues,” more substances, including Bisphenol A and Aniline, can be used under certain guidelines. Bisphenol A, which is included in the ECHA-SVHC substances of very high concern list, can be used in softer chemicals. According to the European Chemical Agency ECHA, aniline is “suspected of causing cancer” (H351) and “suspected of causing genetic defects” (H341). The new regulation says if a product sample contains more than 0.1% of Bisphenol A or possesses more than 100 mg/kg of aniline during sample testing, the product sample can’t be verified under the Leather Standard.

Other substance groups, including Heptylphenol and pentylphenol, were classified as “potentially hazardous chemicals” in the ECHA candidate list, while the use of process preservative agents, including ortho-phenylphenol (OPP) and 4-chloro-3-methylphenol (CMC) received additional guidelines.

For companies that would like to have their furs or skins certified by the Leather Standard, Oeko-Tex said only furs and skins accepted by its list can be certified and may be subject to other special regulations.

Made in Green by Oeko-Tex

Minimum requirements for the Made in Green product label were changed. Now, products must pass a laboratory certification and test based on the Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex’s criteria, in addition to proving that production conditions in participating factories are in line with STeP by Oeko-Tex’s environmental and socially responsible regulations. Additionally, if Made in Green is marketed on consumer textile products, at least 85 percent of the weight of a single piece of textile must be supplied by Step by Oeko-Tex certified production facilities.

Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex

Additional harmful substances were added to the Standard 100 criteria catalogue, including aromatic amine aniline, additional alkylphenols, Bisphenol A and phenol. Updated regulations were also set in place for short-chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCP) and ortho-phenylphenol (OPP). Starting April 1, Oeko Tex will integrate organic cotton product testing for genetically modified organisms (GMOs) into Standard 100.