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Bluesign Completes 2020 Revision of All Chemical Substances Lists

The Bluesign System, a solution for sustainable textile production, has revised all of its chemical substance lists.

The new criteria incorporates new scientific knowledge on the toxicological and ecological profile of substances, new legal classification of chemical substances, new legal consumer safety limits, revised risk assessments based on the Bluesign Criteria for chemical assessment, feedback from experts of the Chemical Experts Group (CEG) and new analytical standards.

These include the Bluesign System Substances List (BSSL), which specifies limits for chemical substances in articles and the Bluesign System Black Limits (BSBL) that specifies threshold limits for chemical substances in finished chemical products such as auxiliaries or dyes. The compilation of substances in the BSBL includes all substances for which a precautionary hazard-based threshold limit is defined.

In addition, the Bluesign RSL is an extract of the BSSL and contains consumer safety limits and recommended testing methods for the most important and legally restricted substances in textile and leather articles and accessories.

With the 2020 update, the structural concept regarding BSSL that defines consumer safety limits and BSBL are improved. Substance groups that are not relevant for consumer safety but had been listed in the past for a more comprehensive substances list are no longer included in the BSSL. They are now regulated by BSBL, such as fluorinated greenhouse gases.

Bluesign has recently developed a new tool called Bluesign Substance Navigator that was used for the 2020 revisions of all chemical substances lists.

“We are pleased to announce that 2020 revisions of BSSL, BSBL and Bluesign® RSL are now complete,” Hartwig Tews, Bluesign’s head of technical product development, said. “The lists are generated for the first time from a new substance database, the Bluesign Substance Navigator. This brand new database is still under development and we will be announcing the launch of this powerful tool in the near future.”

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Beside some layout changes, with the 2020 revisions Bluesign also introduces a new term used in the revised documents called the “Sector of Use.” This is part of an innovative concept for the assessment of chemical products, where Bluesign uses an approach similar to REACH. This allows a product, process and industry-specific assessment of risks to humans and the environment that can be adapted to all kinds of industries. Typical sectors of use include the manufacture of textile products or manufacture of rubber products.

The annexes of the new BSSL and BSBL also contain many more substances since many entries in BSSL and BSBL refer to a substance group and not to individual substances. With the IT data base, which refers as strictly as possible to clearly defined numbers, much more chemical substances are included and as a result more hits to substance groups can be assigned now. BSBL and BSSL also now have a higher degree of completeness regarding the regulated substance groups.

The Bluesign System aims to eliminate harmful substances from the beginning of the manufacturing process, and sets and controls standards for an environmentally friendly and safe production. This helps ensure that the final textile product meets the stringent consumer safety requirements worldwide and gives consumers confidence that their product is sustainable.

Significant key players of the chemical and machine industry rely on the Bluesign System, and well-known brands in the outdoor, sportswear and fashion industry trust the extensive knowledge and services of Bluesign technologies.