Use of harmful chemicals in clothing, textiles and footwear to be restricted
As of 1 November 2020, the use of altogether 33 chemicals classified as CMR substances in clothing, textiles and footwear is restricted. CMR substances are specific substances and categories of substances that are carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic to reproduction.
The EU is imposing maximum concentration limits on CMR substances in order to protect human health. A specific aim of the restrictions is to protect children and pregnant women to whose health the substances may be particularly harmful.
CMR substances in clothing
CMR substances are present in clothing, accessories, footwear and other textiles. They may comprise impurities resulting from the production process, or they may have been purposefully added to goods for achieving certain qualities. Consumers may be subjected to CMR substances through skin contact or breathing air.
The maximum concentration limit for formaldehyde, a CMR substance, is 75 mg/kg in clothing, accessories, footwear and other textiles that come into contact with skin. However, for the period from 1 November 2020 and 1 November 2023, the maximum concentration limit for formaldehyde in jackets, coats and upholstery is 300 mg/kg. After that period, the maximum concentration limit for these items will be 75 mg/kg as well.
The maximum concentration limits for CMR substances are listed in Commission Regulation (EU) 2018/1513.