ISO 16190:2021 was published in November 2021 for “Footwear – Critical substances potentially present in footwear and footwear components – Test method to quantitatively determine polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in footwear materials”. The 2021 edition supersedes the first edition of Technical Specification ISO/TS 16190:2013 and has been technically revised.

SAFEGUARDS | SoftlinesNO. 013/22

 Italian Style Footwear Leather

ISO 16190:2021[1] specifies a method to determine the amount of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in footwear and footwear components. According to the standard, a test sample is extracted using toluene in an ultrasonic bath, an aliquot is then analyzed using a gas chromatograph with mass selective detector (GC-MS). Other changes compared to the 2013 edition include technical and/or editorial changes in the section of Terms and definitions, Reagents, Apparatus, Sample preparation, Procedure & Expression of results, Clause renumbering and addition of Annex A.

PAHs have been identified as being a great concern regarding potential exposure and adverse health effects on humans, thus legislation in major markets around the world restricts the presence of PAHs in finished products, such as:

  • In EU, the European Union Regulation (EU) No. 2018/1513 was adopted in October 2018, amending Annex XVII to Regulation (EC) No. 1907/2006 of the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) that introduced entry 72 to restrict the use of certain substances classified as carcinogenic, mutagenic or reprotoxic (CMR), category 1A or 1B in clothing and related accessories, other textiles and footwear products[2][3]. The restriction includes eight individual carcinogenic PAHs which shall not be placed on the market if the substance is present in a concentration greater than specified.
  • In Germany, the German Product Safety Committee (Ausschuss für Produktsicherheit, AfPS) issued a new standard AfPS GS 2019:01 PAK on 15 PAHs limits in products that are subject to the GS Specification (GS-Mark) which came into effect on July 1st, 2020[4]. The GS-Mark is a voluntary German certification mark regulated in the Product Safety Act (ProdSG), which should be based on the lowest possible PAH levels in order to reduce consumers’ exposure to them.

PAHs are a group of structurally related hydrocarbons. They persist in the environment and accumulate in food chains and can have an adverse effects on aquatic life and humans, including mutagenic, toxic, and/or carcinogenic properties. PAHs are often formed due to incomplete combustion of organic materials. Usually, PAHs are not considered chemical substances in the production of textile garment and footwear products, but are generally impurities in low-grade raw materials. Therefore, PAHs are typically present in finished products as impurities and are not intentionally added. In fact, PAHs are detected in some raw materials used to make plastic and rubber such as extender oils (used as a softener) and carbon black (used as a reinforcing agent). Consequently, they can be present in finished products, such as household items, tools, clothing, footwear, toys and childcare articles. Within the footwear producing industry, PAHs are often found in the outsoles of footwear and in printing pastes for screen prints.

References

  1. ISO 16190:2021
  2. SGS SafeGuardS No. 148/18
  3. SGS SafeGuardS No. 166/18
  4. SGS SafeGuardS No. 057/20

SGS is committed to providing information about developments in regulations for consumer products as complimentary services. Through a global network of laboratories, SGS provides a wide range of services including physical/mechanical testing, analytical testing and consultancy work for technical and non-technical parameters applicable to a comprehensive range of consumer products. In the end, it’s only trusted because it’s tested. Contact us for more information or visit our website.

For inquiries, please contact:

Louann Spirito
Consumer and Retail — Softlines
US & Canada Softlines Business Head
t: +1 (973) 461-7919

Stay on top of regulatory changes within your industry: subscribe to SafeGuardS!

Read more articles for the Consumer Goods and Retail industry

© SGS Group Management SA - 2022 - All rights reserved - SGS is a registered trademark of SGS Group Management SA. This is a publication of SGS, except for 3rd parties’ contents submitted or licensed for use by SGS. SGS neither endorses nor disapproves said 3rd parties contents. This publication is intended to provide technical information and shall not be considered an exhaustive treatment of any subject treated. It is strictly educational and does not replace any legal requirements or applicable regulations. It is not intended to constitute consulting or professional advice. The information contained herein is provided “as is” and SGS does not warrant that it will be error-free or will meet any particular criteria of performance or quality. Do not quote or refer any information herein without SGS’s prior written consent.