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OEKO-TEX Updates Test Criteria for 2014

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The OEKO-TEX Association has released its annual update to the Standard 100 valid test criteria for product certification. Manufacturers will be allowed a three-month transition period before these new regulations take effect on April 1, 2014.

  • The specifications for perfluorooctanic acid (PFOA) will become much stricter. In future, values cannot exceed the following limits:

Product class I: 50 µg/kg = 0.05 mg/kg (previously 0.10 mg/kg)

Product class II: 100 µg/kg = 0.10 mg/kg (previously 0.25 mg/kg)

Product class III: 100 µg/kg = 0.10 mg/kg (previously 0.25 mg/kg)

Product class IV: 500 µg/kg = 0.50 mg/kg (previously 1.00 mg/kg)

  • Four longer-chained, perfluorinated compounds will also be included in the criteria catalogue with the same limit values as PFOA. Specifically, these are the substances perfluoroundecanoic acid / heni-cosafluoroundecanoic acid (CAS 2058-94-8), perfluorododecanoic acid / tricosafluorododecanoic acid (CAS 307-55-1), perfluorotridecanoic acid / pentacosafluorotridecanoic acid (CAS 72629-94-8) and perfluorotetradecanoic acid / heptacosafluorotetradecanoic acid (CAS 376-06-7). The reason behind this is the inclusion of the chemicals in the ECHA Candidate List with substances of very high concern (SVHC) as part of the REACh legislation.

With these two measures in particular, OEKO-TEX is supporting the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) initiative, a collective of retailers and brands working together to cease all discharge of hazardous chemicals from their supply chains and products by 2020.

  • All the perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) regulated by OEKO-TEX® will in future be listed in a separate substance category, and not, as previously, in the section “Other Chemical Residues.”
  • For the alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEOs), the test will be extended to further ethoxylate chains (1-20).
  • The limit values for nonylphenol (NP) and octylphenol (OP) as well as for nonylphenol ethoxylates (NP(EO)) and octylphenol ethoxylates (OP(EO)) will be significantly reduced in all OEKO-TEX® product classes:

Sum: NP + OP: 10.0 mg/kg (previously 50 mg/kg)

Sum: NP + NP(EO)1-20 + OP + OP(EO)1-20: 250.0 mg/kg (previously 500 mg/kg)

By reducing the limit values, OEKO-TEX® is contributing to the complete exclusion of NP and OP as well as APEOs from textile production, striven for by the industry and also one of the goals of the ZDHC initiative and other campaigns. As a result of the globally introduced company audits as an element of every OEKO-TEX® certification, all the companies participating in the OEKO-TEX® system have also been made aware of these environmentally harmful, problematic substances in aids.

  • As a supplement to pentachlorophenol (PCP) and tetrachlorophenols (TeCP), the OEKO-TEX® certification will in future also include a check on all trichlorophenols (TrCP).
  • Dinosebacetate will also be included in the list of banned pesticides, as the use of this substance is banned in some European countries.
  • Among the regulated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), seven substances have additionally been given a specific individual limit value. The total limit value in the respective product classes for all 24 PAHs will stay the same. With this measure, OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 once again demonstrates its pioneering role in the testing of textiles and accessory materials of all kinds. The European legislation published in December, and which will apply from 27 December 2015 (Regulation (EU) No. 1272/2013 amending Annex XVII of Regulation (EC) No. 1907/2006 (REACh)), on selected PAH compounds has already been taken into account and implemented in OEKO-TEX® Standard 100, edition 2014.
  • With regard to softeners, CAS number 84777-06-0 will be also added for dipentyl phthalate (branched and linear) for the sake of completeness.
  • The existing exemption in OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 for a few selected products for solvent residues will be extended for 1-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP). The exemption now also applies for spun-dyed fibers that are used specifically in the production of personal protective equipment (PPE).

Additional information on the new OEKO-TEX test criteria can be found at www.oeko-tex.com/institutes.

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