The standards cell "Safety & Health" assists the entire textile chain in its endeavours to comply with product safety and health related requirements and regulations.
The international competition forces the sector to focus more and more on textiles with a high added value, by adding extra functionalities to the products. In the field of standardisation this leads to the progressive development of standards regarding these new textile materials. These standards require that the manufacturers of materials and textile (product) substantiate their product claims, that the product does not have any harmful side-effects and that the added functionalities are durable and resistant to (frequent) maintenance and heavy use.
This evolution corresponds to the consumer's growing concern for safety and health, which is even strengthened by the European Product Safety Directive (2001/95). In support of this legislation, Europe is constantly developing standards to e.g. detect certain harmful substances (azo-deystuffs, fire retardants), to assess the burning behaviour of nightwear and the safety of children's clothing, etc. Certain initiatives have been taken to incorporate a number of requirements of voluntary eco-labels (OEKO-TEX®, EU Flower label) into the European standardisation, giving them as such a more binding character.
The standard antenna is actively following up the following themes:
- PPE standards (contact Inge De Witte)
- standard regarding general product safety (contact Edwin Maes)
- European biocide regulation (contact Erik Wuyts)
- REACH (regulation 1907/2006) and other international restrictions on chemical use and presence of harmful substances (contact Stijn Steuperaert)
- labeling requirements and voluntary eco-labels (contact Edwin Maes)