Switzerland headquartered independent testing and certification system for leather and textiles, OEKO-TEX has updated its existing guidelines as well as the valid test criteria and limit values for certifications and services.

Following a transition period, all new regulations are to come into effect on April 1. Among the most important changes, the Made in Green by OEKO-TEX label, first introduced for textiles in 2015, now includes leather products. In 2019, the STeP certification was expanded to include leather production facilities and OEKO-TEX said it now goes one step further with the integration of leather products with the Made in Green label, meaning that leather articles with the label will have been tested for harmful substances in accordance with the Leather Standard by OEKO-TEX. “This ensures that consumers can also track leather goods such as clothing, shoes or furniture using a unique product ID or the specific QR code on the label to learn which countries and production facilities the article was produced in”, said the institute highlighting that to monitor compliance of the required criteria on site in the production facilities, it also conducts checks of production facilities with trained auditors.

New additions to the limit value catalogues have also been announced; after one year of observation, the carcinogenic N-nitrosamines and N-nitrosables substances have been included in both the Standard 100 and the Leather Standard, along with specific limit values for the total content of the toxic heavy metals arsenic and mercury. Furthermore, beginning of April 1, ‘Detox to Zero’ will be an obligatory element for STeP-certified facilities using large quantities of water and chemicals (wet plants). According to OEKO-TEX, a positive aspect of the new regulation is the future conformity of STeP with the Manufacturing Restricted Substance List (MRSL), the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) Initiative and the criteria for the Greenpeace Detox campaign.In 2020, OEKO-TEX said it will observe various new substances based on the latest scientific findings and conformity with precise specifications, particularly substances newly classified as SVHC that, according to the REACH regulation for the protection of human health and the environment, have been identified as having particularly hazardous characteristics, as well as substances from the group of arylamines.

From ILM