Oeko-Tex updates applicable test criteria & limit values

17 Jan '15
4 min read

Oeko-Tex Association has as usual updated the applicable test criteria and limit values for product certification in accordance with Oeko-Tex Standard 100 at the start of the new year.

After a three month transition period, the new regulations come into force on April 1, 2015 for all certifications.

The limit value for the sum of nonylphenol (NP), octylphenol (OP), nonylphenol ethoxylates (NP(EO)1-20) and octylphenol ethoxylates (OP(EO)1-20) will be significantly reduced in all Oeko-Tex product classes.

With this further reduction, Oeko-Tex said, it is once again contributing to the complete exclusion of NP and OP as well as alkylphenol ethoxylates from textile production, which is a goal set by the industry.

Due to the globally introduced company audits that form part of every Oeko-Tex certification, all companies participating in the OEKO system, will also be made aware of these particularly environmentally harmful and problematic substances in auxiliary agents.

The specifications for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) will become much more stringent. In future, for all product classes (PC), it will be less than 1.0 μg/m².

This also ensures that the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 covers the applicable legal regulation for PFOA in Norway, for textiles, carpets and other coated consumer goods.

Since not only PFOA itself, but also several perfluorooctanoic acid salts and esters are prohibited, the CAS no. of PFOA is not specified in Annexure 5 of the Oeko-Tex Standard 100. Instead, it is accommodated under the ‘various’ entry.

The limit value for perfluorooctane sulfonates (PFOS) is also changing to less than 1.0 μg/m² in all product classes as against the previous 1.0 μg/m².

With these two provisions, Oeko-Tex specifically supports the ZDHC initiative and the Detox campaign of retailers that have committed themselves to exclude hazardous chemicals from the production process by 2020.

As is already the case in product classes I to III, only flame-retardant products that have up to now and by current technological standards been deemed harmless to health and that are included in the list of products accepted by Oeko-Tex can be used in product class IV like decoration materials in the future.

In this case, flame-retardant products may also be permitted for use only in product class IV. For more clarity, the various flame-retardant products that are definitively prohibited are no longer listed in the limit value table of annexure 4 and now will be listed in annexure 5 in the future.

The limit value for the total content of cadmium after total digestion of the test sample will be reduced to 40 mg/kg as standard in all product classes compared to PC I: 50 mg/kg; PC II to IV: 100 mg/kg previously.

This ensures that the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 meets the requirements of the US state of Washington's "Children’s Safe Products Act (CSPA)" for cadmium, the strictest law worldwide in this area.

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