What is Formaldehyde? Why it’s restricted for textile & garment clothing as per consumer product safety?

What is Formaldehyde?
Formaldehyde is a volatile organic compound, it is present in nature in small quantities, human blood and apples both have traces of Formaldehyde.

Why is it restricted?
In larger quantities, Formaldehyde can cause respiratory problems and skin irritation.

How does it get into the product?
In textiles formaldehyde is used in anti shrinking treatments and in resin finishes to impart aesthetic properties to textiles such as crease resistance.

What are the Legal Requirements?
Finland was the first European country to apply limiting values to Formaldehyde in 1988, there are now many European countries that have regulations in place, including, Germany, Norway and Holland. There is no UK legislation at the moment, however most UK Retailers have set their own limits in line with, or more severe than European Regulations. Formaldehyde is currently under consideration for inclusion within REACH.

Test Methods
Free Formaldehyde – EN ISO 14184 / 1
Released Formaldehyde – EN ISO 14184 / 2

‘Free’ is the measurement to determine the level of Formaldehyde present in the fabric or product, this will give an indication as to the ‘risk’ in handling the product.
‘Released’ is the measurement to determine the level of Formaldehyde given off by the fabric into the atmosphere, this will give an indication as to the ‘risk’ of respiratory problem.

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