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Gesellschaft für Konformitätsbewertung mbH
Concept for a textile certification
Dipl.-Ing. Markus Weber
DIN CERTCO, Gesellschaft für Konformitätsbewertung mbH (Germany)
In the following text a broad outline for a concept of a textile certification is given. It is the aim of DINCERTCO, the certification organisation of DIN, the German Institute for Standardisation, to discuss thisconcept with experts and interested parties, like KITECH, to evaluate the merits and flaws of thisconcept.
The textile certification shall differentiate between three levels of quality. The first level covers basicquality features and the legal requirements of the different countries. Therefore the maximum allowedconcentration of certain harmful substances in textiles, and some other quality features like the colourfastness are controlled.
The second level of quality shall require additional proofs that no dangerous concentrations of a widerrange of harmful substances and potentially harmful substances can be found in the textile products.
Furthermore additional quality features may be tested, like dimensional changes during washing anddrying, and light fastness.
The third level of quality shall cover requirements in the manufacturing process. The idea behind this isto minimise the overall ecological impact of textile production. Biodegradability, bioaccumulation andtoxicity of chemicals such as detergents, complexing agents, auxiliaries and solvents, etc used in themanufacturing process shall also be considered. Pollution of the soil, water and air in the vicinity of aproduction site shall be minimized.
Differentiation between DIN geprüft / DIN plus and the Certificate of Acceptability
• Legal Requirements (e.g.
• Additional tests for more • Requirements
features (change of sizedue to washing anddrying, light fastness)
Certificate of Acceptability
Laws of many countries make regulations concerning textiles. In Germany these are laid down in the"Lebensmittel und Verbrauchsgegenständegesetz (LMBG)" (Law on Food and Consumer Goods) inJapan they are described in "Law 112". There also exist international treaties that ban the use ofcertain harmful substances, like the Stockholm Convention on persistent organic pollutants.
These legal requirements shall be recorded and it shall be checked in laboratory tests if the legalrequirements are met. This shall be documented in a "Certificate of Acceptability". With it a textileproducer can go to distributors to document legal compliance. As textile producers are requiredanyway to meet legal requirements, no quality mark is awarded.
A first draft of a list of required tests is given in Table 2 but it should be noted that not every possiblelegislation has been checked. Thus certain legal requirements may exist that are not covered yet. Itshould also be noted that the requirements for the certificate of acceptability will change over time asthe legal framework does, e.g. the EU´s white paper on chemicals legislation shows the possibledevelopment of the future European legislation in the chemical field, and changes in the EU´slegislation are to be expected.
Tests for "Certificate of Acceptability"
Direct contact with
Azo dyes who could release one ofthe following substances(carcinogenic amines) [ppm]:
• 2,6-XylidineAllergenic dyestuff (20 dyestuffs) not detectable• C.I. Disperse Blue 1
• C.I. Disperse Yellow 49FormaldehydeFree [ppm]
Besides the legal requirements for harmful substances, certain quality criteria have to be met. Theseare listed in Table 1 and include the colour fastness.
Basic Quality Criteria
No direct contact
Products that may bear the DIN geprüft mark have to meet more than just the legal requirements.
Criteria for harmful substances in textile products, i.e. the maximum allowed concentration, shall bestricter than the legal requirements. Furthermore also potentially harmful substances shall not be usedfor the products.
Criteria for harmful substances
Allergenic dyestuff (20 dyestuffs) Not detectable• C.I. Disperse Blue 1
the following substances(carcinogenic amines) [ppm]:• 4-Aminobiphenyl
Emissions of volatile organic carbons[mg/m³]
Of course textiles that will bear the DIN geprüft quality mark have also to fulfil additional qualityfeatures as they are given in Table 5.
Additional quality features
Requirements for the manufacturing process could follow detailed demands as they are laid down inthe program for the "EU-flower" label or the requirements could be coupled with an environmentalmanagement system (EMS). These requirements have still to be developed.
Testing shall be done according to well established standards. Some applicable standardsare given in Table 6. Testing laboratories shall demonstrate their competence by for examplefulfilling the requirements of ISO/IEC 17025.
It has to be noted further that not all of the above mentioned tests have to be performed in allcases. There is no need to check the pesticide concentrations of a textile fabric that is madeup of chemical fibres, or to check for potentially harmful dyes if the textile fabric was notcoloured.
In addition to test reports also appropriate data and the declaration of a company’sresponsible person will be needed together with the test report to prove that products meetthe requirements for certification.
Standards for textile testing
• Accelerated Heat Ageing TestAcrylnitrilAdditivesAOX
German Methods §35 LMBG B-82.02-2,B-82.02-3, B-82.02-4
carcinogenic aminesBiocidesBurning Behaviour
Carcinogenic dyesChange of size due to washing and
Emissions of volatile organic carbonsFlame retardantsFormaldehyde
Japanese Law 112ISO/DIS 14184-1German Methods §35 LMBG B-82.02-1
ISO 8288 (Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Cd, Pb)ISO 9174 (Cr)
Potentially allergenic dyesPVC additives (Phthalate)Tetrachlorphenol (TCP)Tin organic substances
If a consensus on the requirements for a textile certification can be reached, textile producers willbenefit from a clear regulatory framework for textile production. Furthermore third-party assessment asconducted by DIN CERTCO and it's network of partners can help to improve the competitiveness ofconsumer products by raising consumer confidence in tested and certified products.
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