Focus remains on formaldehyde in consumer products: Take action now!

Regulations on the emission of formaldehyde in consumer products remain in a state of flux. Please be sure to pay attention to the materials used also for electrical products and make sure that your suppliers already have products that meet the requirements or prepare them for stricter rules to be introduced.

Regulations on the emission of formaldehyde in consumer products remain in a state of flux. Consultations are under way by the ECHA (European Chemicals Agency/EU public authority) on the introduction of a Europe-wide limit value of 0.124 mg/m³, measured according to EN ISO 717-1. An inclusion in the REACh (Chemicals Regulation) Annex XVII list is then to be expected.

Clothing, other textiles that come into contact with the skin and footwear listed in Regulation (EU) 2018/1513 are to be excluded. (It has already been decided that the limit value will be set at 300 mg/kg from the first of November 2020 and then lowered to 75 mg/kg in 2023. Biocides according to Regulation (EU) 528/2012 are excluded).

The regulation proposal corresponds to the “old” limit value for wood-based materials in the [German] Chemicals Prohibition Ordinance (ChemVerbV) until 31 December 2019. As is commonly known, this will be determined as of 1 January 2020 according to the new EN 16516 method and will lead to a further reduction in formaldehyde emissions.

Formaldehyde will also be newly included in the Toys Regulation; the amendment governs the limits for materials intended to be placed in infants’ mouths. Limit values are specified for polymers, textiles, leather, paper and other materials. The requirements of standard EN 71-9 are thus partially tightened.

In particular, these changes chiefly apply to manufacturers for whom compliance with the limit values will become mandatory.

Recommendation:

Please be sure to pay attention to the materials used also for electrical products.

Many of the projects are not yet legally binding. However, please make sure that your suppliers already have products that meet the above requirements or prepare them for stricter rules to be introduced. In order to keep costs under control also with regard to further restrictions on pollutants, risk-based test management is recommended. Our affiliate TMK Retail Service & Consulting GmbH will offer you appropriately optimised inspection plans. If you have any questions, please call Boris Berndt on +49/40/54090410-8 or send an e-mail message to info@retailconsult.info.

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