Oeko-Tex has added significant criteria to its Standard 100 certification requirements, many based on new government regulations.

The Zurich-based independent textile testing organization said the standards came into effect after a three-month testing and transition period.

A group of perfluorinated compounds and their salts have been incorporated into the test parameter for all Oeko-Tex product classes. By this, Oeko-Tex takes into account that PFNA and its salts have been newly included in the European Union’s candidate list of “substances of very high concern” for its Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals program.

Ten additional tin-organic compounds have been regulated with limit values for all product classes.

The substance dicyclohexyl phthalate has been added to the list of softeners already regulated for all product classes. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is making its final decision on whether dicyclohexyl phthalate will be integrated into its Improvement Act.

The Oeko-Tex Standard 100 stipulates new requirements for a group of phthalates. This also reflects that these substances were added to the REACH candidate list in December 2014 and 2015.

Due to new findings as part of recent Oeko-Tex Association research activities, seven neonicotinoid substances have been added to the parameter “pesticides.” As to the parameter “chlorinated phenols,” both monochlorinated and dichlorinated phenols have been regulated with lower-limit values.

The Oeko-Tex extraction method for the testing of materials for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons has once again been optimized and may lead to higher PAH findings in comparison to previous laboratory tests. The limit value for the sum of nonylphenol, octylphenol, nonylphenol ethoxylates and octylphenol ethoxylates OP has been changed in all product classes.

With these changes, Oeko-Tex is further contributing to the complete exclusion of NP, OP and alkylphenol ethoxylates from textile production, which is a goal of the industry. These changes comply with the European regulation for nonylphenol ethoxylates that will be applied as of Feb. 3, 2021, and is incorporated under the latest REACH requirements.

All the companies participating in the Oeko-Tex system have been made aware of these environmentally harmful and problematic substances in auxiliary agents.

As is already required as of Jan. 1, only flame-retardant products that have previously been assessed to be harmless to health and that are included in the list of products accepted by Oeko-Tex can be used in furnishing materials for decorative purposes.

With many of these measures, the Oeko-Tex Association supports the “Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals Initiative” and the “Detox Campaign.” Oeko-Tex has also made the textile production chain more aware of the need for responsible handling of potentially harmful substances in textile products and its pioneering role has contributed greatly to effective consumer protection.

With more than 150,000 certificates issued since 1992, more than 14,000 certifications in the last 12 months and growth of 5.7 percent in comparison to the previous year, the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 Label has been able to extend its world leading position in the area of textiles tested for harmful substances.

Since 2010, these product-based hazardous substance tests have been accompanied by comprehensive mandatory quality management audits worldwide. An evaluation of the audits performed up to this point shows that the company visits, which take place at least every three years, provide an effective measure for ensuring human-ecological product quality and a valuable aid for certification in accordance with STeP by Oeko-Tex as part of the quality management module.