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New European Standard for Aromatic Amines Derived from Azo Colorants Released

Photo: Clothes
Photo: Clothes

The new European standard methods for determining restricted aromatic amines derived from azo colorants in textiles has been updated and published by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) on February 2017. The EN 14362-1/3:2017 superseded existing standards published in 2012 and describe improvements in the analytical procedure and guidance on interpreting results.

The two updated standards used for the restriction on azo colorants are:

  • EN ISO 14362-1:2017 [1]: Textiles – Methods for determination of certain aromatic amines derived from azo colorants - Part 1: Detection of the use of certain azo colorants accessible with and without extracting the fibres (ISO 14362-1:2017) [2]
  • EN ISO 14362-3:2017 [3]: Textiles – Methods for determination of certain aromatic amines derived from azo colorants - Part 3: Detection of the use of certain azo colorants, which may release 4-aminoazobenzene (ISO 14362-3:2017 [4])

The two updated standards are related to entry 43 of Annex XVII of the REACH Regulation (EC) No. 1907/2006 which prohibits the use of azo colorants in textile and leather articles which may come into direct and prolonged contact with the human skin or oral cavity. The legislated 22 aromatic amines obtained by reductive cleavage of one or more azo colorants may not be used in items in concentrations greater than 30 mg/kg as determined by gas chromatography. The methods will become harmonized in the EU market for REACH Annex XVII once officially endorsed in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU).

EN ISO 14362-1:2017 describes a method to detect the presence of certain amines that may not be used in the manufacture or treatment of certain commodities made of textile fibres and that are accessible from azo colorants by reducing agent with and without extraction. The method is relevant for all colored textiles, e.g. dyed, printed and coated textiles.

Azo colorants accessible to reducing agent without extraction are those used to color with pigments or to dye cellulose fibres (e.g. cotton, viscose), protein fibres (e.g. wool, silk) and synthetic fibres (e.g. polyamide, acrylic). Azo colorants accessible with extraction are those used to dye man-made fibres with disperse dyes (e.g. polyester, polyamide, acetate, triacetate, acrylic and chlorofibre).

Highlight of major updates in EN ISO 14362-1:2017 include:

  • Xylene is used for extracting the disperse dye from fiber
  • Both direct reduction and colorant extraction may be required separately for synthetic fiber
  • False-positive case evaluation is listed in Appendix C
General sampling
  • “White” and uncolored fibres, threads or fabric are not considered to contain azo colorants and analysis is not required.
  • “Pale” printed material may contain azo colorants.
Printed material
  • Clause 9.5 “If material is printed or dyed with pigments as well as any material where the usage of pigments is uncertain, the method in 10.2 shall be carried out”.
  • Clause 10.2 refers to normal extraction of natural fabric.
  • Hence, no need to follow the composition of base material.
Colorants testing (Chemical formulation)
  • Requirement is stated - “Colorants that release greater than 200 mg/kg of an amine may lead to a failure of coloured textiles.”
Extraction approach
  • No combined method. Both direct reduction and colorant extraction may be needed for synthetic fibres

For any particular concerns regarding the new European standard for determining the restricted aromatic amines derived from azo colorants in textiles for REACH Annex XVII compliance, please do not hesitate to contact us for further information.

SGS Global Softlines has an extensive network of over 40 laboratories worldwide, with a strong team of committed professionals from multi-disciplinary backgrounds. Our internationally accredited state-of-the-art testing laboratories offer a comprehensive range of physical, chemical and functional testing services for components, materials and finished products. We help your company ensure quality, performance and compliance with international, industrial and regulatory standards worldwide. Discover more at www.sgs.com/softlines.

Email SGS Hong Kong Ltd. at mktg@sgs.com for enquiry or visit www.sgsgroup.com/hk.

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