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Dyeing Printing & Finishing

SGS Offers Azo Dye Testing

SGS Consumer Testing Services, Fairfield, N.J. has added azo dye testing to its U.S. textile testing services. The new capabilities will reduce testing lead time for U.S. retailers, buyers and manufacturers and help U.S. finishers and converters meet demands for shortened production cycles.

Azo dyes produce bright, high-intensity colors, have fair to good fastness properties, are economical to produce and account for more than half of all commercial dyes used. Depending on other chemical features, they are categorized according to the fibers for which they have an affinity or their application methods.

The dyes have aroused concern because carcinogenic aromatic amines used in producing the dyes may be released from a finished textile by perspiration or saliva, causing health risks from skin contact or ingestion. Azo dyes may contain any of more than 20 carcinogenic amines listed under California's Proposition 65 requiring the state to publish a list of chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm. These carcinogens have been banned in China, Japan, India, Vietnam, and the European Union; and a variety of products including T-shirts, denim jeans, scarves, dresses, hats and bed linens have been included in azo dye-related product recalls and other enforcement actions.

"Most retailers and brands recognize the need to be aware of increasing restrictions on toxic chemicals for their products in the global markets they sell," said Sanjeev Gandhi, global technical director, Consumer Products, SGS Consumer Testing Services. "For textile products, a key area of concern is azo dyes. Being able to source necessary testing from a U.S. company both streamlines and simplifies the process of protecting yourself from enforcement action that can damage your brand and result in a loss of sales."

September/October 2011