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Oeko-Tex Updates Test Criteria

The International Oeko-Tex Association, Switzerland, has updated its criteria and limit values for testing textiles for harmful substances in accordance with the Oeko-Tex® Standard 100 certification process.

Short chain (C10 to C13) chlorinated paraffins and tris (2-chloroethyl) phosphate will be included explicitly in the list of banned flame-retardant substances and also will be listed with the other banned residual chemicals in the list of criteria. Both substances are sometimes used for other applications.

The association has set a standard limit value of 90 parts per million (ppm) for total lead content across all four Oeko-Tex product classes. This limit is considerably lower than the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act's current limit of 300 ppm or the 100-ppm limit as of August 2011 for babies' and children's articles. Testing for extractable heavy metals using a controlled sweat solution will continue to be the most important requirement of Oeko-Tex Standard 100 because that test method is more relevant with regard to potential health risks from undesirable heavy metals in textile products than is testing for total lead content, Oeko-Tex reports.

Oeko-Tex will continue its planned universal onsite visits, which were introduced at the beginning of 2010 as a component of Oeko-Tex certification.

January/February 2011