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Web Exclusive | September 2018

OEKO-TEX® certification of textile chemicals

As an accredited test laboratory with over 1,000 staff worldwide, Hohenstein belongs to one of 18 institutes run by the OEKO-Tex® company and specialises in testing for toxic substances in textile products and textile components. Established two years ago, the ECO PASSPORT by OEKO-TEX® certification serves to examine textile chemicals used as aids in production. The following paragraphs detail the certification process using the example of Total’s Lissolfix coning oil. 

The ECO PASSPORT certification, conducted exclusively by Hohenstein in Germany, supplements the existing OEKO-TEX® certifications such as STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX®. For over 25 years, STANDARD 100 has been examining raw, intermediate and finished textile products for toxic substances and certifying textile products that pose no threat to health. The ECO PASSPORT certification follows a two-step process to analyse whether dyes, equipment, aids and other chemicals used in textile production can be classified as safe. Coning oils used to texture yarns may obtain ECO PASSPORT certification as production-specific aids.

Two years on from the certification’s introduction, the OEKO-TEX® community has been able to certify more than 3000 products of over 400 customers worldwide. The certification makes it easier for companies manufacturing and selling textiles in accordance with STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® to procure textile aids. It enables them to meet the market requirements for safe, non-toxic textiles, ensures that their textile-production staff are protected, help protecting the environment and the end consumer. For Total as an oil producer, the ECO PASSPORT certification means one extra step to adapt to the industry’s requirements and offer eco-friendly oils in order to set itself apart from its competitors. 

Hohenstein and the applicant work in close consultation throughout every stage of the
certification. If possible, the applicant should have an existing quality-assurance system complying with ISO standards. The textile chemicals are tested in two to three stages at Hohenstein’s testing laboratory.
  • Stage I: Compliance screening
  • Stage II: Analytical verification
  • Stage III: Sustainability check
The ECO PASSPORT by OEKO-TEX® certification is valid for one year. Extensions may be requested no earlier than three months prior to the certification’s expiry. This will involve re-assessment of the documents and a simplified laboratory test in order to ensure quality has remained consistent. The toxins’ limit values or the textile chemicals’ production conditions may also have changed in the meantime, necessitating another test to meet the requirements. If changes are made to the certified product during the certification’s validity period, the certificate holder is obliged to report the change and, if necessary, provide a new test specimen for testing.  
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