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Web Exclusive | June 2014

OEKO-TEX® Standard 100: New regulations come into force

After the expiry of the usual three-month transition period, the test criteria and limit values for OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 that were published at the start of the year came definitely into force on 1 April. During laboratory tests, the following new regulations must now be complied with:

The specifications for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) have become much stricter. The following limit values now apply: 

- Product class I: 50 µg/kg = 0.05 mg/kg (previously 0.10 mg/kg)
- Product class II: 100 µg/kg = 0.10 mg/kg (previously 0.25 mg/kg)
- Product class III: 100 µg/kg = 0.10 mg/kg (previously 0.25 mg/kg)
- Product class IV: 500 µg/kg = 0.50 mg/kg (previously 1.00 mg/kg)

Four longer-chained, perfluorinated compounds have been included in the criteria catalogue with the same limit values as PFOA. Specifically, these are the substances perfluoroundecanoic acid / henicosafluoroundecanoic acid (CAS 2058-94-8), perfluorododecanoic acid / tricosafluorododecanoic acid (CAS 307-55-1), perfluorotridecanoic acid / pentacosafluorotridecanoic acid (CAS 72629-94-8) and perfluorotetradecanoic acid / heptacosafluorotetradecanoic acid (CAS 376-06-7). The reason behind this is the inclusion of these chemicals in the ECHA Candidate List with substances of very high concern (SVHC) as part of the REACh legislation.

All the perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) regulated by OEKO-TEX® are now listed in a separate substance category in the criteria catalogue called "PFCs, Perfluorinated Compounds". For the alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEOs), the test has been extended to further ethoxylate chains (1-20). The limit values for nonylphenol (NP) and octylphenol (OP) as well as for nonylphenol ethoxylates (NP(EO)) and octylphenol ethoxylates (OP(EO)) have been significantly reduced for all OEKO-TEX® product classes:

- Total NP + NP(EO)1-20 + OP + OP(EO)1-20: 250.0 mg/kg (previously 500 mg/kg)
- Total NP and OP: 10.0 mg/kg (previously 50 mg/kg)

As a supplement to pentachlorphenol (PCP) and tetrachlorphenols (TeCP), the OEKO-TEX® certification now also includes a check on all trichlorphenols (TrCP). Dinosebacetate has also been included in the list of banned pesticides, as the use of this substance is banned in some European countries.

Among the regulated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), seven substances have additionally been given a specific individual limit value. The total limit value in the respective product classes for all 24 PAHs will stay the same. The European legislation that was published in December 2013, and which will apply from 27 December 2015 (Regulation (EU) No. 1272/2013 amending Annex XVII of Regulation (EC) No. 1907/2006 (REACh)), on selected PAH compounds has already been taken into account and implemented in the current edition of OEKO-TEX® Standard 100.

With regard to softeners, CAS number 84777-06-0 has also been added for dipentyl phthalate (branched and linear) for the sake of completeness. The existing exemption in OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 for a few selected products for solvent residues has been extended for 1-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP). The exemption now also applies for spun-dyed fibres that are used specifically in the production of personal protective equipment (PPE). The latest version of the OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 test criteria and limit values can be viewed at any time at www.oeko-tex.com/limitvalues. For more information on the new regulations that came into force on 1 April, please contact the OEKO-TEX® Secretariat (info@oeko-tex.com) or the OEKO-TEX® institutes and representative offices (www.oeko-tex.com/institutes).

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