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Feb. 4 EU: Study on the Link Between Allergic Reactions and Chemicals in Textile Products

This study is brought to you by the European Commission.

This study was conducted in application of article 25 of the Regulation n° 1007/2011/EU on textile fibre names and related labelling and marking of the fibre composition of textile products. This article requires that Commission shall carry out a study to evaluate whether there is a causal link between allergic reactions and chemical substances or mixtures used in textile products in order to prepare, where appropriate, legislative proposals in the context of existing EU legislation.

It proposes three categories to be used to prioritise the substances used in textile products, taking into account harmonised classification and self-notification under the Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP) Regulation, sensitising potency, and whether (or not) any alternative or substitute is available.

According to these priorities, the study suggests different types of actions, namely aimed at providing further information to consumers, and combining non-regulatory and regulatory tools, e.g. to control and check the presence of sensitisers against the information disclosed.

The study reviewed existing relevant EU Regulations/Directives (e.g. REACH, CLP, Biocidal Regulation, Cosmetics Regulation, EU Ecolabel etc.), the voluntary textile standards (i.e. Oeko-Tex Standard 100), relevant reports and documents, the relevant legal framework in three Member States (i.e. the Netherlands, Germany and France) and in two main trading partners (i.e. US and China). This, for a better understanding on the current risk management measures targeted at the known allergenic substances, aims to protect consumers from allergies caused by the chemical substances and mixtures which are used in textile processing and remaining on the finished textile products.

The study has investigated whether there is a causal link between allergic reactions and the substances/mixtures used and remaining on the finished textile products. This has been done by evaluating the available scientific literature and epidemiological information, and collecting information from industry via questionnaires on the uses of the allergenic chemical substances in textile products.The findings from the desk research showed that Allergic Contact Dermatitis (ACD) can be induced by textile dyes, textile finish resins and some of other textile auxiliaries such as softeners, water repellents, flame-retardants, biocides and mothproofs, and spot removers and dry cleaning agents.

For more information and the full study please refer to the link above.

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