CMRs in textiles - Member State's back EU Commission's proposal

The European Commission has proposed to limit the exposure to 33 chemicals that are carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic for reproduction (CMR) by restricting their placing on the market in clothing, textiles and footwear. Member States supported the proposal, prepared under a simplified restriction procedure, in April. Now, the legislative proposal will undergo a scrutiny by the European Parliament and the Council.

The substances targeted by the restriction proposal are found in products that consumers can be exposed to through direct and prolonged skin contact, inhalation, or unintentional ingestion of textile fibre dust. These include clothing and related accessories, footwear, and textiles other than clothing that touch the skin, such as bed linen, upholstery and reusable nappies.

Each of the substances has different properties and they are used in different processes in the textile and footwear industries, so maximum concentration limits have been specified for individual substances or groups of substances. This allows us to consider the technical feasibility of achieving the limits and the availability of appropriate analytical methods to be considered.

The restriction covers 33 CMR category 1A and 1B substances from the following substance groups: i) cadmium, chromium, arsenic and lead compounds; ii) benzene and polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs); iii) chlorinated aromatic hydrocarbons; iv) Formaldehydev) phthalates; vi)  polar aprotic solvents; vii) azo-dyes and arylamines; and viii) quinoline.

A full list of the proposed substances and restricted concentration limits by weight is available in the draft regulation.

Clothing, related accessories and footwear (or their parts) made of natural leather, fur and hide, as well as non-textile fasteners and decorative attachments have been excluded from the proposal as different processes are used in their production.

Textiles used in medical devices are exempt, as they need to fulfil specific safety and functionality requirements.

In addition, second-hand articles that are in consumer use before the restriction applies are excluded as it would be nearly impossible to enforce in products already placed on the market. However, articles made from recycled fibres are to be covered by the restriction.



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