European Commission Announces Plans to Restrict Hazardous Substances in Textile Articles and Clothing

Top Quote Following a period of public consultation, the European Commission has published plans to restrict CMRs in textile articles and clothing. These restrictions will be implemented in two phases. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) August 10, 2016 - The European Commission (EC) has announced plans to restrict carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic to reproduction substances (CMR), in textile articles and clothing. The Commission intends to introduce these restrictions in two phases.

    Between October 22, 2015 and March 22, 2016, the EC undertook a public consultation, under Article 68(2) of Regulation (EC) No. 1907/2006 (REACH), to look at interest, feasibility and enforceability of restrictions on targeted chemicals and articles in certain product areas. The Commission has now considered the results of the public consultation and, as discussed at the Competent Authorities for REACH and CLP (CARACAL), the restrictions will be implemented in two phases.

    The first phase will cover articles where consumer exposure is most relevant and where articles may come into direct and prolonged contact with the skin, namely:
    Interior textile articles (e.g. bed-linen)

    Exemptions include:
    Clothing accessories (e.g. buttons or zippers)
    Interior textiles with no or infrequent contact with skin
    Footwear made of real leather

    The EC hopes that, by focusing on function rather than composition, it will include articles that contact very little or no textile fiber content, for example, vinyl raincoats and artificial leather.

    Articles to be considered in the second phase might include floor coverings, carpets, upholstery, clothing accessories and leather articles.

    In collaboration with the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) and Member States Competent Authorities, the EC has drawn up a preliminary list of 286 CMRs. These substances have been classified into categories 1A and 1B. The concerned CMRs are persistent and have a potential to bioaccumulate and at the same time are toxic. They are potentially harmful to ecosystems and, if released into the environment, may represent a threat to human health.

    The Commission will establish four lists of CMRs, in categories 1A and 1B, which will be restricted in phases one and two. These are:
    Substances that are potentially present in clothing and are relevant for the restriction
    Substances that are less likely to be present in clothing or less likely to be released, to be further assessed in second phase
    Substances that are not present in clothing
    Substances that were not present in the initial list, but suggested during the public consultation, to be further assessed in second phase.

    Substances that will not be considered in the first phase restriction:
    Substances only present in accessories
    Substances bound to the matrix and not released
    Petroleum and coal stream derivatives
    Substances that might be present only as impurities at levels below detection limits.

    The document proposes two types of limit values, namely:
    1. Technologically and analytically feasible limits for substances that can be eliminated from the articles
    2. Limits based on hazard, such as CLP specific limit values or DNELs, and/or the lowest achievable concentration for substances that cannot be eliminated

    In order to avoid a lengthy period of implementation, the EC will introduce the two-phase restriction process using the simplified procedures outlined under Article 68(2) of the REACH regulation. As foreseen in the Better Regulation Guidelines, the Commission will launch a second, shorter public consultation on the draft amendment of Annex XVII before the discussion of the draft restriction in the REACH Committee.

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    For further information contact:
    Louann Spirito
    Director Technical Support, Softlines
    Tel: (+1) 973 461 7919
    Email: ( @ ) sgs dot com

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