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The European Commission (EC) has amended Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) Annex XVII, the restricted substances list, to limit certain carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic for reproduction (CMR) substances, category 1A or 1B. The restrictions cover 33 CMR substances in textiles, clothing, associated accessories, and footwear.

The 33 CMR and their maximum concentration limits are:

  • Extractable Heavy Metals – 1 mg/kg (expressed as each metal)
    • Cadmium and its compounds
    • Chromium VI
    • Arsenic
    • Lead and its compounds
  • Solvents / VOCs – 5mg/kg
    • Benzene
  • PAHs – 1 mg/kg (each)
    • Benz[a]anthracene
    • Benz[e]acephenanthrylene
    • Benzo[a]pyrene
    • Benzo[e]pyrene
    • Benzo[j]fluoranthene
    • Benzo[k]fluoranthene
    • Chrysene
    • Dibenz[a,h]anthracene
  • Chlorotoluenes – 1 mg/kg (each)
    • α,α,α,4-tetrachlorotoluene
    • α,α,α-trichlorotoluene
    • α-chlorotoluene
  • Formaldehyde – 75 mg/kg
  • Phthalates – 1000 mg/kg (each)
    • 1,2-benzenedicarboxylic acid; di-C 6-8-branched alkylesters, C 7-rich (DIHP)
    • Bis(2-methoxyethyl) phthalate (DMEP)
    • Diisopentylphthalate (DiPP)
    • Di-n-pentyl phthalate (DPP)
    • Di-n-hexyl phthalate (DnHP)
  • Solvents / VOCs – 3000 mg/kg (each)
    • N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone; 1-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP)
    • N,N-dimethylacetamide (DMAC)
    • N,N-dimethylformamide; dimethyl formamide (DMF)
  • Dyestuff – 50 mg/kg (each)
    • C.I. Disperse Blue 1
    • C.I. Basic Red 9
    • C.I. Basic Violet 3 with ≥ 0,1 % of Michler's ketone
  • Others
    • 4-chloro-o-toluidinium chloride – 30 mg/kg
    • 2-Naphthylammoniumacetate – 30 mg/kg
    • 4-methoxy-m-phenylene diammonium sulphate; 2,4-diaminoanisole sulphate – 30 mg/kg
    • 2,4,5-trimethylaniline hydrochloride – 30 mg/kg
    • Quinoline – 50 mg/kg

The presence of CMR in clothing and related articles means consumers can easily become exposed to them, either through inhalation or contact with the skin. The EC has therefore determined that to protect human health, these substances must be kept below the maximum concentration limits listed above.

The range of products covered includes:

  • Clothing or related accessories
  • Textiles other than clothing which, under normal or reasonably foreseeable conditions of use, come into contact with human skin to an extent similar to clothing – e.g. bed linen
  • Footwear

The restrictions do not apply to:

  • Clothing, related accessories or footwear, or parts of clothing, related accessories or footwear, made exclusively of natural leather, fur or hide
  • Non-textile fasteners and non-textile decorative attachments
  • Second-hand clothing, related accessories, textiles other than clothing or footwear
  • Wall-to-wall carpets and textile floor coverings for indoor use, rugs and runners
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) within the scope of Regulation (EU) 1016/425
  • Medical devices within the scope of Regulation (EU) 2017/745
  • Disposable textile (designed to be used only once or for a limited time and are not intended for subsequent use for the same or a similar purpose)

The new limits will come into effect on November 1, 2020. The exception is the placing onto the market formaldehyde in jackets, coats or upholstery, which must comply with a limit of 300mg/kg between November 1, 2020, and November 1, 2023, and then comply with the limit of 75mg/kg after this date, as specified in Appendix 12.

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For further information contact:

Louann Spirito

Consumer and Retail — Softlines

US & Canada Softlines Business Head

Tel: +1 973 461 7919

Email: crs.media@sgs.com

Website: www.sgs.com/softlines

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