According to the European Commission, stricter threshold values for 33 carcinogenic, mutagenic or reprotoxic chemicals in clothing, textiles and shoes took effect on 1 November 2020. This will give all consumers enhanced safety when buying these products, no matter in which EU country they purchase them and whether the products are manufactured in the EU or imported.
“The health and well-being of our citizens is of paramount importance, now more than ever,” said EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton. “The restriction is the result of good cooperation between the Commission, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), the chemicals and textile industry, non-governmental organisations and health professionals to ensure the safety of these products for our citizens.”
The restriction stipulates concentration limits for individual substances or groups thereof that may potentially be present in such products, including such substances as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), cadmium, chromium, lead and its compounds as well as phthalates. In addition, this reduces environmental emissions of these hazardous substances that can occur e.g. during washing, and improves the quality of recycled textile materials.
The new threshold values are based on the EU REACh Regulation, which offers the highest level of protection for human health and the environment in the world. The EU’s REACh Regulation was adopted to improve the protection of human health and the environment from possible risk exposure to chemicals, while simultaneously increasing the competitiveness of the EU chemicals industry.
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