Dangerous chemicals in clothing, textiles and footwear

The European Union is taking another important step in protecting EU consumers’ health against chemicals known to cause cancer and reproductive health problems, limiting the use of these hazardous chemicals in clothing, textiles and footwear. Following a new restriction under the REACH Regulation, adopted on 10 October 2018, 33 chemicals that are Carcinogenic, Mutagenic or Toxic for reproduction (CMR) can no longer be used in everyday clothing, textiles and footwear above a certain concentration limit. The restriction will become applicable within 24 months.

The substances restricted may occur in these articles either as impurities or to give specific properties, such as to prevent shrinkage or make fabric crease-resistant. Consumers can be exposed to these hazardous substances through skin contact, inhalation or unintentional ingestion of dust released from the textile fibres. The most vulnerable to exposure from them these substances are pregnant women and small children.

Read more about this on the European Commission website: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/chemicals/news_en.htm