Oeko-Tex announces 2024 certification updates


Oeko-Tex announces 2024 certification updates


ZURICH - Chemical management specialist Oeko-Tex has announced new regulations for 2024 - including an immediate change to its ban on the intentional use of PFAS chemicals in textiles, leather and footwear.

While the rest of Oeko-Tex's updated test criteria, limit values and guidelines for its certifications come into force on 1st April, the new limit value for total fluorine (TF) was effective from 1st January.


The new TF limit value of 100 mg/kg affects Oeko-Tex's Standard 100, Leather Standard and Eco Passport certifications and is intended to ensure these remain compliant with US regulations on PFAS.


It replaces the previous parameter for extractable organic fluorine (EOF) in PFAS, the so-called forever chemicals - named for their durability in the environment - which have been linked with a series of serious health risks.


"With the widespread use of PFAS and potential impact on human health and the environment, rapid adjustments are required," said an Oeko-Tex statement.


New criteria for foam, microplastics, GMOs and SVHC alignment have also been added to Oeko-Tex's regulations, based on new scientific findings and legal developments.


The updated Oeko-Tex STeP standard will require certified production facilities to mitigate and prevent the release of microplastics from manufacturing processes through active risk identification and management.


Oeko-Tex will also continue to increase its collaboration with ZDHC (Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals), enabling Oeko-Tex STeP-certified companies to receive new discounts for the ZDHC's Supplier to Zero Programme.


For ZDHC Foundation Level (Level 1), the fee will be waived for STeP-certified facilities, while for ZDHC Progressive Level (Level 2), they will receive a 50% discount. Certified STeP companies wishing to participate should contact their Oeko-Tex testing institute.


In another change, the Oeko-Tex Leather Standard will increase emphasis on the traceability of leather materials and require proof of origin for materials in line with new European Union (EU) legislation on deforestation-free supply chains.


The limit values for genetically modified cotton have also been reduced from 10% to 5% for the Oeko-Tex Organic Cotton certification. The new limit value still accounts for unavoidable impurities.


New substances of very high concern (SVHC) have been added to the limit value catalogues for the Standard 100 (Annex 4 and 6), Leather Standard, Organic Cotton and Eco Passport certifications. These include Bis(4-chlorophenyl) sulphone and the solvent 1,4-dioxane which can have serious effects on human health and the environment, according to Oeko-Tex.


The new regulations for 2024 are available in detail - along with an opportunity to register for public webinars explaining the changes - on the Oeko-Tex website.


Source: Ecotextile