Restricted Substances List (RSL) for Textile and Apparel Industry

Restricted Substances List (RSL) for the Textile and Apparel Industry

All the chemicals are helpful for the textile dyeing process and do not harm our bodies when they come into contact; some are hazardous to our health and skin. We need to know to be aware of this. RSL test is the way to find them from the textile fabric and clothes. This article will discuss the Restricted Substances List (RSL) for the Textile and Apparel Industry.

In the textile and garment sector, some chemicals and substances that are restricted or banned because of health and environmental concerns are included on the Restricted Substance List (RSL). It aids in guaranteeing adherence to rules and specifications like REACH and Oeko-Tex. Manufacturers use RSL to direct the selection of materials and production procedures, encouraging safer and more environmentally friendly methods. Restricted Substances List (RSL) for Textile and Apparel Industry.

The Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) Regulation controls the supply and use of certain chemical substances on their own, in preparations or mixtures, or articles (finished products). These controls apply to substances that can harm human health or the environment. Under EU REACH regulation, substances that are one of the following can be regarded as substances of very high concern(SVHC):

  • Carcinogenic, mutagenic, or toxic to reproduction
  • Persistent, bio-accumulative, and toxic
  • Very persistent and bio-accumulative
  • Seriously and/or irreversibly damaging the environment or human health
  • Substances damaging the hormone system
Restricted Substances List (RSL) for Textile and Apparel Industry

List of Restricted Substances List (RSL) for Textile and Apparel Industry

A full details of Restricted Substances List (RSL) for the Textile and Apparel Industry:

1. Phthalates

Phthalates is the name of a group of chemical substances based on phthalic acid. Phthalates are a group of plasticizers with softening and elastic effects. They are widely used in apparel in Softener, print pastes, especially rubber print and plastisol print, Synthetic fiber and its blends, Polyester buttons, polyurethane, and polyvinylchloride coating.
Studies have shown that men’s sperm reduction over the past few decades may be related to the use of phthalates as softeners. Experts also found phthalates contained in soft plastic toys and children’s products may be placed in the mouth of a child. However, placing long enough in the mouth will result in phthalates dissolution over safety standards, which endangers children’s liver and kidneys.
Some phthalates have been shown to have endocrine-disrupting effects, which can interfere with the endocrine or hormone system in mammals. These disruptions can cause cancerous tumors, birth defects, and other developmental disorders. Three phthalates, Di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate(DEHP), Dibutyl phthalate (DBP), and Benzylbutyl phthalate(BBP), are classified by the EU REACH as harmful and restricted if the contents exceed the limit of 0.1% or 1000 PPM.

2. Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is a commonly used chemical compound that exists in various forms and at room temperature. It is a colorless, distinctive, strong, and even pungent-smelling, flammable, and gaseous substance. Formaldehyde is a volatile organic compound that:

  • is readily soluble in water
  • breaks down rapidly
  • is produced and metabolized in the human body
  • does not accumulate in the human body or environment

Formaldehyde can be found in dyeing and printing to fix or preserve dyes and prints. It is frequently used as an anti-creasing and anti-shrinking agent for wrinkle-free treatment, and it can also be found in permanent press, artificially stiffened fabric, and Stain resistance substances. It is also used to keep garments looking new and fresh while in transit and to retard mildew growth.

  • Fixing agents for direct and reactive dyes in cellulose fibers
  • Anti-wrinkle and anti-shrinking resins used in the finishing processes
  • Resins are used to fix permanent wrinkles in textile articles made of cellulose fibers, mainly in denim products.
  • Heat transfer adhesives are used as binders in dye printing.
  • Heat transfer adhesives are used in several printing processes, such as flocks and foil.
  • Reducing agents present in printing
  • Resins and binding agents in some special finishes and coatings.
  • Products for tanning and softening of leather.
  • Anti-microbial agents in pastes used in water-based printing

Formaldehyde can cause allergy, irritation and eczema, asthma, contact dermatitis, irritation of the nose and eyes, and other adverse effects like headaches, depression, and insomnia, and it is a suspected carcinogen. It can be present in two forms: free on the surface of fabrics or released in a vapor form from fabrics. It is forbidden to use formaldehyde-based products to produce fabrics for the following garments: Children’s wear (0–3 years), Underwear, and Nightwear – Free Formaldehyde is limited to < 20 ppm in these garments. All other products are limited to <75ppm free formaldehyde.

3. AZO Dye:

AZO dyes are the name of the group of synthetic dyestuffs based on nitrogen that are often used in the textile industry. Some AZO dyestuffs may separate under certain conditions to produce carcinogenic and allergenic aromatic amines.
The EU AZO Colorants Directive sets out that Azo dyes, which may release one or more of the 22 aromatic amines in detectable concentrations above 30 ppm in the finished articles or in the dyed components, may not be used in textile articles that may come into direct and prolonged contact with the human skin or oral cavity.

4. Dimethyl Fumarate (DMF)

Dimethyl fumarate (DMF) is commonly used as an anti-fungal agent to kill molds that may cause clothing to deteriorate during storage and wearing. It evaporates and impregnates the product, protecting it from molds. However, it can also affect consumers in contact with the products.
DMF can penetrate through the clothes onto the skin, causing painful skin contact dermatitis, including itching, irritation, redness, and burns; in some cases, acute respiratory troubles. Products containing DMF exceeding the limits of 0.1 PPM are prohibited from being placed or made available on the market.

5. Alkylphenols (APs) and Alkylphenol Ethoxylates (APEOs)

Alkylphenol Ethoxylates and Alkylphenols are considered harmful to the environment and possible endocrine disrupters. EC is forced to limit concentrations to 0.1% in its products. The most common usage is in detergent products. The second most common use is in textile processing, where it is used in various textile auxiliaries, including wetting agents, and in manufacturing water-based pigment pastes to improve pigment dispersion.

6. Phenols: Pentachlorophenol (PCP) & Tetrachlorophenol (TeCP)

PCP (Pentachlorophenol), TeCP (Tetrachlorophenol), and its salts and esters are forbidden in apparel manufacturing. They are used as pesticides/fungicides to prevent mold spots (caused by fungi). Chlorinated phenols are applied directly onto natural fibers, blends, and leather. Both PCP and TeCP are very toxic and are regarded as cancer-inducing substances.

7.Tributyltin (TBT) & Dibutyltin (DBT)

Tributyltin (TBT) is an organotin compound used for anti-microbial finishing. High concentrations are considered toxic. This substance can be taken up via the skin and may affect the nervous system. In the textile industry, organotin compounds have been used to prevent the bacterial degradation of sweat and the corresponding unpleasant odor of socks, shoes, and sports clothes.
TBT levels must be below 0.5 ppm for Babywear and 1.0 ppm for all other apparel. Dibutyltin (DBT) is also an organotin compound with various applications, such as an intermediate for stabilizers of polyvinyl chloride, a catalyst for electrodeposition paints, a catalyst for multiple types of polyurethanes and a catalyst for esterification.

8. Polychlorinated biphenyls(PCBs) Polychlorinated terphenyls (PCTs)

Chlorinated organic carriers such as polychlorinated biphenyls(PCBs) and polychlorinated terphenyls (PCTs) are mainly used as pesticides but also as softeners, carriers, and flame retardants. Large, stable molecules can easily accumulate in organisms and the environment. They can affect the liver, hormone, immune, and nervous systems. They must not be present in garments.

9. Arylamines:

Arylamines are chemical substances harmful to human health that can be part of the structure of some dyes –Azo Dyes– and which, under certain conditions, can be released from them and absorbed by the human body through the action of sweat. Acceptable limits: maximum 20 PPM.

10. Perfluorooctane Sulfonates(PFOS) & Perfluorooctanoic acid( PFOA)

Perfluorooctane sulfonates (PFOS), a fully fluorinated anion, are surfactants widely used as surface-acting agents in textile wet processing. It is also used for its waterproofing oil and stain resistance properties. Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and its salts are suspected to have a similar risk profile to PFOS. A maximum 1 μg/m2 is permissible for textile products.

11. Heavy Metals:

A. Nickel:
Nickel is now the most frequent cause of contact allergy, which may be found in garment accessories like Zipper, Hook, Stud, Poppers, Sank Button, Snap Button, Rivet, etc. It is no longer permitted to sell articles with nickel-containing metal parts that have direct and prolonged skin contact. Metal components must be tested to ensure that they are nickel-free and have no more than 0.01% Nickel. The ‘lack of nickel’ has to be guaranteed for two years and has to remain below 0.5μg/cm2 surface/week (migration).
B. Chromium
Chromium compounds are classified as carcinogenic. So, it must not be present in apparel.
C. Cadmium
A limit of 1 ppm is permissible in Cadmium and its combination, which can be found in paints, plastisol prints, PVC, and PU fabrics.
D. Lead
Lead is a “heavy metal” that is used as a metal; alloy for the production of accessories; and pigment. Lead can be found in a great variety of textile and leather/fur products, such as accessories made from metals or alloys, and some components of a variety of chemicals used in pigments. Limits: A maximum of 30 ppm is permissible for Lead in non-fabric components (zippers, drawstrings, snaps, buttons, among others).
E. Mercury
Mercury is a ‘heavy metal’ that can be found in the solid, liquid, or gas states (in organic or inorganic compounds). Mercury can be found in textiles and leather/fur products in general. Contamination occurs during sodium hydroxide and/or sodium chloride production using the ‘Mercury cell process.’ Contamination during the extrusion of polymers where it is used as a preservative. Therefore, they are contaminated with water during the wet processing of textiles.
Limits: No detection is acceptable in textiles in direct and prolonged contact with the skin

Restricted Substances List (RSL) is fully restricted to use in the textile and apparel industry to save our skin.

Restricted Substances List (RSL) for Textile and Apparel Industry

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