Sustainable Fashion

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The EU restricts exposure to carcinogenic substance formaldehyde in textiles

The EU Commission adopted measures to introduce a maximum emission limit for the carcinogenic substance formaldehyde in a range of consumer products, including textiles.

The new rules establish an emission limit of 0.062 mg/m3 of formaldehyde into indoor air for the largest contributors, such as wood-based articles and furniture and to the interior of road vehicles. A limit of 0.08 mg/m3 will apply to all other articles such as textile, leather, plastic, construction materials or electronic products.

Producers of articles where formaldehyde is used will have 36-months to comply with the new rules, providing sufficient time for stakeholders to implement the restriction requirements, develop relevant analytical methods to test formaldehyde emissions and deploy formaldehyde-free or low emitting formaldehyde products. A 48-month limit will apply to vehicles.

In addition, the European Chemicals Agency will develop guidance facilitating harmonised implementation of the test conditions for the measurement of the formaldehyde emissions.

Formaldehyde is known to have carcinogenic and mutagenic properties and can act as a toxicant and skin sensitiser.

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