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OEKO-TEX new test parameters
Jan '12
The OEKO-TEX Association has as usual updated the applicable test criteria and limit values for testing textiles for harmful substances according to OEKO-TEX Standard 100 at their annual meeting, with effect as of 1 January 2012.

The new requirements will come into force on 1 April. The regular re-evaluation of the test parameters is based on current market and product developments, new toxicological findings and new legal requirements, also taking into consideration the REACh legislation, including the SVHC substances relevant to textile manufacturing which have been added in 2011.

The OEKO-TEX criteria catalogue stipulates the following amendments:

With respect to the current version of the REACh candidate list and the current consultations, wet spun fibres and coatings will in future be tested for n-methyl-pyrrolidone and dimethylacetamide. Both chemicals are listed in the new category "Solvent residues" and must not exceed a limit value of 0.1 % weight by weight.

In addition, relevant test samples must also be tested for four new plasticisers: di-C6-8-chain alkyl phthalates, di-C7-11-chain alkyl phthalates, di-n-hexyl phthalates (DHP) and bis(2-methoxyethyl)phthalates. These will be incorporated with the phthalates already listed in the Oeko-Tex Standard 100. The total limit value of 0.1 % weight by weight shall remain unchanged.

In analogy to the existing ban on alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEO) within the framework of certification of environmentally-friendly production sites according to OEKO-TEX Standard 1000, the successful testing for nonylphenols, nonylphenol-(1-9)-ethoxylates, octylphenols and octylphenol-(1-2)-ethoxylates will in future also form a prerequisite for product certification according to OEKO-TEX Standard 100.

The following limit values apply to all four product classes:
• nonylphenols: 100 ppm
• octylphenols: 100 ppm
• Total nonylphenol-(1-9)-ethoxylates: 1000 ppm
• Total Octylphenol-(1-2)-ethoxylates: 1000 ppm

The tests begin with the publication of the new Standard. In order to allow companies an adequate time frame to implement any necessary changes in their production, the requirements will only come into force definitively after a transition period on 1 April 2013. This regulation does not apply to companies certified according to OEKO-TEX Standard 1000, as they already comply with the required criteria.

The limit value for extractable chromium is set at 10 mg/kg for leather products in product class IV. This exception to the usual chromium limit values for textile articles corresponds to the best available technology on the market at the current time and does not pose any toxicological risk when such products are used as intended.

In addition to the new test parameters, the scope of the control tests on OEKO-TEX certified products carried out throughout the world is being extended to cover 20% of all certificates issued annually in future, as opposed to the minimum 15% tested to date. In practice, over recent years, an average of 18% of certificates have been tested using product samples taken from the shops at the expense of the OEKO-TEX Association.

A new complement to the OEKO-TEX Standard 100 is now also available, on the basis of which it will be possible to certify special products such as tents, prams, office chairs or rucksacks according to OEKO-TEX Standard 100 in future.

The OEKO-TEX Association

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