A 24-month transition period has been initiated by the European Union (EU) to restrict 33 chemicals that are used in the textile industry. These chemicals are classified as carcinogenic, toxic or mutagenic for reproduction, including formaldehyde, benzene and heavy metals.
These substances either remain in fabrics as a residue from the production process or are intentionally used to give certain properties to textiles as fabric crease-resistance or shrink-proofing. Any textiles that come into contact with the human skin, clothing, accessories, footwear, are items that the new maximum concentration limits are applied to.
The adoption of these chemicals is now set out in entry of Annex XVII to REACH by Regulation (EU) 2018/151.3