EU to Limit NPEs in Textile Products
Newly Produced Textile Products Must Comply
The restriction applies to any unfinished, semi-finished or finished products comprising at least 80% textile fibers or any other product containing a part comprising at least 80% textile fibers including products such as clothing, accessories, interior textiles, fibers, yarn, fabrics and knitted panels. The restriction prohibits the articles containing a concentration of nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs) equal to or greater than 0.01% (100 mg/kg) of the textile article or of each part of the textile article that can reasonably be expected to be washed in water during its normal lifecycle.
According to the regulation, second-hand textile articles and new textile articles produced exclusively from recycled textiles are exempt from the restriction. This exemption applies because it is assumed that the articles made from recycled textiles will have been washed several times already and will therefore contain negligible amounts of NPEs.
Nonylphenol Ethoxylates (NPEs) Can Be a Source of Pollution
NPEs are important to the textile industry because their excellent detergent or emulsifying properties make them suitable for a wide variety of applications such as cleaning, coating, dyeing and as a rinsing agent. However, textile articles containing NPEs can be washed, and the resulting water containing these toxic substances can enter the aquatic environment to form nonylphenols (NPs), a family of potentially hazardous and hormone-disrupting chemicals.
Transition Period Planned to Ease Compliance
There will be a transition period of 60 months between the adoption of the restriction and its applicability. The transition period gives manufacturers and producers of textile articles sufficient time to adapt their production processes in order to comply with the restriction.
 Safeguards. EU Notifies the Addition of Textile-Containing Products to Reach Restriction. April 2015 (http://newsletter.sgs.com/eNewsletterPro/uploadedimages/000006/sgs-safeguards-06715-eu-notifies-addition-textile-containing-products-reach-restriction-a4-en-15.pdf)
 EUR-Lex. Commission Regulation (Eu) 2016/26 of 13 January 2016 amending Annex XVII to Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) as regards nonylphenol ethoxylates (http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv:OJ.L_.2016.009.01.0001.01.ENG&toc=OJ:L:2016:009:TOC)
About SGS Services for the Consumer Goods and Retail Industry
SGS Global Softlines has an extensive network of over 40 laboratories worldwide, with a strong team of committed professionals from multi-disciplinary backgrounds. Its internationally accredited state-of-the-art testing laboratories offer a comprehensive range of physical, chemical and functional testing services for components, materials and finished products. SGS helps companies ensure quality, performance and compliance with international, industrial and regulatory standards worldwide, for example REACH (http://www.sgs.com/en/consumer-goods-retail/softlines-and-accessories/textile-and-clothing/reach).
For more information, please do not hesitate to contact an SGS expert.
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