Relevant for: Softlines
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.
|Trial 1 ||Result after treatment, 9.40 PPM|
|Trial 2||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
For additional information about our Softlines services, click here.