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EU Holds Public Consultation on Restricting Skin Sensitizing Substances in Textile and Leather Articles

SGS

Posted 31st October 2019.

The European Chemical Agency (ECHA) has opened a public consultation on restricting skin sensitizing substances in articles made from textile, leather, fur and/or hide.

The public consultation follows a proposal jointly submitted by France and Sweden. If accepted, the proposal will restrict substances with harmonized classification as skin sensitizers in Categories 1, 1A, or 1B in Annex VI under the Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP) Regulation (EC) No. 1272/2008. In addition, it includes substances are in a list of disperse dyes that are shown to skin sensitizing properties.

The proposed restrictions for textiles are:
• Disperse dyes – Not Detected
• Chromium VI compounds – 1 mg/kg
• Nickel and its compounds – 130 mg/kg
• Cobalt and its compounds – 70 mg/kg
• Formaldehyde – 75 mg/kg
• 1,4 paraphenylene diamine – 250 mg/kg
• Other substances in scope – 130 mg/kg

And for leather, fur and hide:
• Disperse dyes – Not Detected
• Chromium VI compounds – 1 mg/kg
• Nickel and its compounds – 110 mg/kg
• Cobalt and its compounds – 60 mg/kg
• Formaldehyde – 75 mg/kg
• 1,4 paraphenylene diamine – 210 mg/kg
• Other substances in scope – 110 mg/kg

NB. Other substances in scope refers to substances with harmonized classification as skin sensitizers in Category 1, 1A or 1B listed in Annex VI to Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 or with skin sensitizing concern (Restriction Proposal, Table 5).

These limits follow a risk assessment that was included in the restriction dossier submitted by France and Sweden.

The scope of the restriction would cover clothing and related accessories and any article, other than clothing, that would come into contact with skin under normal or foreseeable condition of use. This would include:
• Bed linen, blankets and throws
• Upholstery (fabric covering chairs, armchairs and sofas, car seats etc.) and cushion covers
• Bathrobes and towels
• Re-usable nappies and sanitary towels
• Sleeping bags
• Yarn and fabrics intended for use by the final consumer
• Bags (e.g. handbags, backpacks, briefcases)
• Carpets, mats and rugs
• Fashion accessories (e.g. wristwatch straps, necklaces, bracelets, etc.)
• Footwear (including inner soles)

Excluded articles include:
• Jewellery
• Glasses and sunglasses
• Curtains, textile lampshades and wall decorations
• Filling materials in chairs, armchairs and sofas
• Second-hand articles
• Articles within the scope of Regulation 2016/425/EU on personal protective equipment
• Articles within the scope of Regulation 2017/745/EU on medical devices
• Parts of footwear that do not touch human skin under normal or reasonably foreseeable conditions of use (e.g. underside of footwear)

The comment period for the public consultation will conclude on December 19, 2019. The European Commission will then decide on whether to adopt the restriction. If accepted, it will be included in Annex XVII of Regulation (EC) No. 1907/2006 (REACH).

Stakeholders should be aware a textile underwear garment was recently recalled following notification under RAPEX because it contained an excessive amount of nickel – 130mg/kg by weight. Public awareness on this subject has grown in recent years, in part because of voluntary withdrawal of products containing skin sensitizing substances.

SGS Softlines Services
SGS has a worldwide network of over 40 state-of-the-art laboratories specializing in testing of apparel, footwear and home textiles. Their committed team is drawn from multi-disciplinary backgrounds, allowing them to carry out a comprehensive range of physical, chemical and functional testing services for components, materials and finished products. SGS helps companies ensure quality, performance and compliance with international, industrial and regulatory standards worldwide. Learn more about SGS’s Softlines Services. [www.sgs.com/softlines]

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For further information contact:

Louann Spirito
US & Canada Softlines Business Head
Tel: +1 973 461 7919
Email: crs.media@sgs.com
Website: www.sgs.com/softlines
LinkedIn: sgs-consumer-goods-&-retail

About SGS
SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 97,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 2,600 offices and laboratories around the world.

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Email Address: ben@sugarloafmarketing.co.uk