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REACH Compliance for Textile Production: Navigating REACH Standards for Textiles

REACH (EC 1907/2006), an acronym for Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals, is a pivotal regulatory framework enacted by the European Union. Its primary objective is to safeguard human health and the environment from potential hazards posed by chemicals, including those utilized in textile manufacturing. By ensuring that products entering the market are free from harmful substances, REACH not only upholds consumer safety but also fosters a culture of responsible production.

The ability to sell textile products freely within the European market hinges on adhering to the REACH regulations. This article will delve into the essential REACH standards for textiles, exploring how REACH compliance works for the textile industry.

Importance of REACH Compliance for Textile Manufacturers

The commitment to REACH compliance yields a spectrum of advantages for textile manufacturers. First and foremost, REACH compliance allows for market access, providing the gateway to the lucrative European market (EU Member States as well as Iceland, Lichtenstein, and Norway). The harmonization of regulations across the European Economic Area (EEA) eliminates barriers to trade, granting you seamless access to a vast consumer base. All goods imported into the EEA, as well as all substances manufactured in the EEA, must comply with the REACH regulation.

Non-compliance with the REACH regulation leaves you vulnerable to financial penalties and legal action.

Secondly, REACH compliance reassures both you and your consumers that the textiles you produce align with the highest safety standards. This fosters trust and credibility in your brand, which is vital in a competitive market.

REACH Standards for Textiles

Textile manufacturers, as stakeholders in this stringent regulatory landscape, must acquaint themselves with the specific REACH standards for textiles. The REACH regulation regulates the use of dangerous chemicals known as Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC). The content of SVHC in textile products sold in the EU must be no more than 0.1% of the total product weight. You can find a full Candidate List of SVHC on the European Chemicals Agency website.

For more information on REACH, including who must comply, read our guide to achieving compliance: REACH Compliance: What It Means for Your Business

So, which chemicals should the textile industry pay attention to when it comes to REACH compliance? Here are a few examples:

In 2020, an additional set of restrictions focused specifically on textiles went into force after the addition of Entry 72 to Annex XVII of REACH. This update restricts the use in textiles of 33 substances known or presumed to be a human carcinogen, mutagen, or reproductive toxicant. Under Entry 72, all footwear, clothing, accessories, and textiles that come into contact with human skin cannot contain restricted substances in a concentration equal or greater than regulated limits.

Learn more in this webinar: Requirements under REACH and Entry 72: What You Need to Know

Beyond the substances discussed above, the REACH regulations also regulate the use of many other chemicals used in the textile manufacturing process. From the substances employed in dyeing to those present in finishing treatments, chemicals regulated by REACH are everywhere. While many manufacturers are turning to alternative substances that are not restricted, you must be aware of any restricted chemicals used in your products to ensure compliance.

A comprehensive evaluation ensures that every facet of your textile production aligns with the REACH standards. That’s where laboratory testing comes in.

Do You Need Third-Party REACH Testing for Textile Products? The QIMA Benefits

While in-house quality control measures are vital, engaging third-party laboratories for REACH testing helps ensure compliance. Third-party laboratory testing enables you to assess the presence of restricted threshold-limited substances in your products.

At QIMA, our global network of laboratories possesses the expertise and specialized equipment necessary for accurate and expeditious analysis. By obtaining REACH compliance verification from a recognized and accredited third-party lab like QIMA, you avoid the risk of non-compliance and ensure access to the European market.

As the European market beckons, the choice to navigate the path of REACH compliance with a trusted partner stands as a pivotal one—one that propels your products toward excellence, safety, and success. QIMA’s REACH testing offers a comprehensive suite of solutions that empower textile manufacturers to navigate the intricate landscape of compliance with confidence.

Learn more about our REACH testing service or contact us today.

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