What is it? Formaldehyde is the simplest form of aldehyde and it is a volatile organic compound at room temperature and pressure.
Potential health hazard Formaldehyde is a suspected carcinogen. It is an irritant to the eyes, nose and lung, and exposure to the skin may cause allergic dermatitis.
Commonly found in: This compound can be found in permanent press and artificially stiffened fabric. It is an anti-creasing, a dye or a print fixing and an anti-shrinking agent. This is most commonly found in adhesives or glues.
Related legislation (non-exhaustive) EU level: No specific EU restriction in formaldehyde for textiles. However, certain Member States impose their own national legislation. For example:
Germany: German Consumer Goods Ordinance (textiles)
Norway: Norwegian Product Regulation
Finland: Finnish Statute Book
Examples of other countries/states with formaldehyde requirements
USA: Minnesota–Minnesota Statutes
China: GB 18041-2010 - National General Safety Technical Code for Textile Products and GB 20400-2006 - Leather and fur – Limit for harmful matter
Japan: Act on Control of Household Products Containing Harmful Substances
Maximum limit (non-exhaustive)
Germany: 1500 mg/kg (textiles intended with skin contact)
Norway and Finland: 30 mg/kg (textiles for infant <2 years old); 100 mg/kg (textiles with direct skin contact; 300 mg/kg (textiles with indirect skin contact)
China: 20 mg/kg (textiles according to GB 18401); 30 mg/kg (leather according to GB 20400)
Japan: 16 mg/kg (textiles for infant<2 years old); 75 mg/kg (textiles with direct skin contact)
Case studies of issues resolved
Case 1: Formaldehyde 88 PPM detected in a single jersey, pigment printed, boy’s T-shirt. We have taken two routes to counter the issue.
Result after treatment, 9.40 PPM
Result after further refining the process, formaldehyde not detected
Case 2: Woven shirt in 40’s X 40’s X 1110/92 construction, reactive solid dyed, plain weave, formaldehyde detection, 77 PPM. Result after treatment, formaldehyde not detected.
Note: The above content is based on our technical expertise and cannot be considered for any legal dispute.
How can TÜV SÜD help? TÜV SÜD has a dedicated technical solutions team to support you with root cause analysis, problem identification, suggestions for improvement and failure minimisation.
Training and seminar on understanding the RSL (Restricted Substance List) and MRSL (Manufacturing Restricted Substance List)
Testing services on the final products and raw materials
Consultancy on establishing and improving Chemical Management System
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