Update - Japan Azo Restriction in Textile Products
SAFEGUARDS | Softlines NO. 135/15
In April 2015, the Japan Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) published Governmental Ordinance No. 175  revising the current “Act on Control of Household Products Containing Harmful Substances” (Act No. 112 of 1973) to include azo compounds, classified as hazardous substances and banned from use in household products in amounts exceeding the established limit. The proposed effective date is 1st April, 2016.
In July 2015, the Ministerial Ordinance ( No. 124)  with detailed technical requirements also has been announced by the MHLW. The Act designates azo compounds as hazardous substances, and restricts the presence of any of the twenty-four (24) specified aromatic amines to less than 30 ug/g (mg/kg). The testing is to be performed using Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer (GC-MS).
In accordance with the provision, the scope of household products that are regulated in the Ordinance include:
- Textile products with azo dyes: diapers, diaper covers, underwear, sleepwear, gloves, socks, intermediate garments, outer garments, caps, hats, bedding, floor coverings, tablecloths, collar ornaments, handkerchiefs, towels, bath mats and related products
- Leather and/or fur products with azo dyes: underwear, gloves, intermediate garments, outer garments, caps, hats and floor coverings
Recommended Test Method:
- JIS L 1940-1:2014 (ISO 24362-1:2014) – Textiles – Methods for determination of certain aromatic amines derived from azo colorants – Part 1: Detection of the use of certain azo colorants accessible with and without extracting the fibres
- JIS L 1940-3:2014 (ISO 24362-3:2014) – Textiles – Methods for determination of certain aromatic amines derived from azo colorants – Part 3: Detection of the use of certain azo colorants, which may release 4-aminoazobenzene
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Reference: SGS- SafeGuardS 062/15 
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