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European Commission Could Ban Carcinogens in Textiles

European Union officials recently appealed to citizens and companies alike for information on the presence of nearly 300 substances classified as carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic for reproduction (CMR).

The European Commission intends to use the evidence gathered through the public consultation as fodder to enforce a possible restriction of the substances in a range of consumer articles including textiles and apparel.

“Textile articles and clothing were selected as a first test-case because of the high likelihood of a prolonged—or multiple short-term—exposure of consumers to CMR substances being potentially present in those articles,” the Commission said in a statement. “The list of CMR substances (individual substances or groups) covered by this possible restriction would be added as a specific appendix to Annex XVII to REACH and could be regularly updated, as appropriate.”

The list, compiled in collaboration with the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) and member states’ competent authorities, spans 291 dyes, carcinogenic amines, petroleum substances and more.

The public consultation, which opened on October 22 and ends on January 22, is needed “to target relevant chemicals and articles and to consider the proportionality and enforceability of a possible restriction in this area,” the Commission said, as well as determine the availability of alternatives.