SAFEGUARDS | Softlines NO. 024/16
Textile and clothing products sold in the European market must comply with strict demands regarding safety and quality, especially the use of chemicals. There will soon be several changes to the EU regulations as well as some new regulations that will soon become effective. All of these will affect manufacturers and importers in the textile and clothing industry.
EU Expands Lead Restrictions under REACH 
The Regulation (EU) 2015/628 was published in the Official Journal of the European Union to expand the product scope for the restriction of lead and its compounds under Annex XVII of REACH. The regulation extended the restriction of lead and its compounds in articles for the general public if such products or components may be placed in the mouth by children during normal or reasonably foreseeable use. The expanded restriction will become effective on 1 June 2016. The new regulation places a restriction on the new scope of products or components of no more than 0.05% lead content or 0.05µg/cm2 per hour (equivalent to 0.05µg/g/h) on the rate of lead release.
EU Public Consultation Targets Hazardous Substances in Textiles 
The European Commission launched a public consultation on the possible restriction of hazardous substances that are carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic to reproduction (CMRs) used in textile articles and clothing for consumer use. The consultation period has been extended to close on the 22 March 2016. There is a preliminary list of 291 CMR substances in categories 1A and 1B which may potentially be present in textile articles and clothing. The listed substances include dyes, pigments, colorants, phthalates, solvents, flame retardants and PAHs.
CEN Publishes Amendment to EN 1811 'Nickel Release' 
The European Committee for Standardization (CEN) has released EN 1811:2011+A1:2015, amending the test method EN 1811:2011 ‘Reference test method for release of nickel from all post assemblies which are inserted into pierce parts of the human body and articles intended to come into direct and prolonged contact with the skin’. According to REACH Annex XVII entry 27, the standards published by the CEN should be used to demonstrate compliance of nickel release. The new amendment EN 1811:2011+A1:2015 provides clarity for conformity assessment by removing the inconclusive conclusion for nickel release value. With reference to the combined uncertainty measurement of 46%, an article is interpreted as non-compliant only when the nickel release value is greater than or equal to 0.88 µg/cm2/week (for non-body piercing articles) or 0.35 µg/cm2/week (for body piercing articles). According to the new standard, conflicting standards shall be withdrawn by January 2016 at the latest.
EU Proposes to Amend Cadmium in Certain Paints under REACH 
The European Union (EU) has recently proposed to amend the scope of the existing Cadmium restriction under point 2 in entry 23 of Annex XVII of REACH. The proposed amendment extends the existing restriction on cadmium and its compounds. It is proposed that Paints with codes  and  shall not be used or placed on the market if they contain a Cadmium concentration (expressed as Cd metal) equal to or greater than 0.01% by weight. The amendment has NOT yet been officially approved.
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