EU Bans Four Chemicals Found in Apparel and Textiles

EU Bans Four Chemicals Found in Apparel and Textiles

The European Union has the most extensive regulations on chemical use in the world. The European Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) went into practice in 2007. So, REACH has been reducing consumer, worker, and environmental exposure to toxins for over a decade.

There were 33 new substances were added to the EU’s restricted list in October. This legislation came on the heels of recommendations from the European Chemicals Agency, according to the European Commission. Now, by June 2020 four more will be added, reported Sourcing Journal Online. These, in particular, are commonly found in clothing and textiles.

The EU’s new ban

There were 33 new substances were added to the EU’s restricted list in October. This legislation came on the heels of recommendations from the European Chemicals Agency, according to the European Commission. Now, by June 2020 four more will be added, reported Sourcing Journal Online. These, in particular, are commonly found in clothing and textiles.

The newly restricted formaldehyde, heavy metals, and benzenes are chemicals that fall under, “the carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic for reproduction (CMR)” categories. These chemicals, used in textile coatings, have shown to be cancerous or cause congenital disabilities.

Apparel’s Toxic Ingredients

Because of these substances’ harmful nature they were added to the list. During the apparel production process, these by-products get trapped in the airways. Due to this, garment workers are at the highest risk of exposure. Also, consumers absorb the toxins through skin contact with the clothing.

The Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) stresses the negative impact the fashion industry’s use of chemicals are on its supply chain. It affects everything from the workers, to the end user, and the environment. Since Europe is leading the way in more healthful and sustainable practices for its citizens, many other nations are expected to follow suit.

Apparel Textile Sourcing is coming to the EU! Join us in Berlin, Germany on September 11th-13th-2019. Learn more and register here.


Author: Christine Duff

Christine wants to live in a world filled with cutting edge fashion, beautiful words and and an endless supply of leather jackets and boots. A product development grad of FIDM, she was the Editor-in-Chief of MODE Magazine where she reignited her love of storytelling. She has diverse experience within the industry with trend research, art direction and styling editorial spreads. She gained her most notable experience working in Los Angeles at the satellite operation for GQ and Vogue Thailand. Christine is passionate about social science and the role it plays in the consumer goods industry and apparel in particular.