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FP7

European survey on the release of formaldehyde from textiles

Funded under: FP7-JRC

Abstract

A European survey on the level of formaldehyde released from textiles, in particular textile clothing, produced all over the world was performed. The selection of fabrics was planned among textile products that are supposed to contain formaldehyde, in order to cover as many different types of fibres and type of garments as possible. The whole population was considered as target. Samples were bought in 21 Member States of the European Union, from different sources, with different compositions and various production countries or areas. Part of them was printed and some were �easy care� or Oeko-Tex labelled. A total of 221 samples were analysed with standard method EN ISO 14184-1 (water extraction) and 127 with standard method EN ISO 14184-2 (vapour absorption). Measurements were performed in triplicate and uncertainties were calculated at 95 % of probability. In the case of the water extraction method, 11% of samples intended to be in direct contact with skin released over 30 mg/kg, which is the limit established by the voluntary labelling scheme Ecolabel (Commission Decision 2002/371/EC). About 3% released more than 75 mg/kg, which is the limit set by the private voluntary labelling scheme Oeko-Tex Standard 100. In the case of babies under the age of two, 11% of garments released more than 20 mg/kg of formaldehyde, which is the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 limit for babies. The sample manufacturing area (Europe, China, rest of the world) and the purchase sources (shops, department stores and open air markets) do not seem to influence the results. Shirts seem to be the garment category with the highest risk of exceeding the limit of 30 mg/kg (22% of them). Moreover, five out of ten �easy care� labelled shirts exceeded the Ecolabel limit. Similarly, pure cotton and mixtures containing wool seem to release more formaldehyde than garments made of mixtures containing cotton and other fibres.

Additional information

Authors: PICCININI P, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Health and Consumer Protection, Ispra (IT);SENALDI C, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Health and Consumer Protection, Ispra (IT);SUMMA C, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Health and Consumer Protection, Ispra (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 22710 EN (2007), 54 pp. Free of charge
Availability: Katalogue Number: LB-NA-22710-EN-C The PDF version can be downloaded from: http://bookshop.europa.eu
ISBN: ISBN: 978-92-79-05215-6
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