After a three-month transition period, the new OEKO-TEX Standard 100 test criteria and limit values will become binding for all certifications on 1 April 2015.
After a three-month transition period, the new OEKO-TEX Standard 100 test criteria and limit values will become binding for all certifications on 1 April 2015.

At the start of the year, the OEKO-TEX Association has, as usual, updated the applicable test criteria and limit values for product certification in accordance with OEKO-TEX Standard 100. After a three-month transition period, the following new regulations come into force on 01 April 2015 for all certifications:

1) The limit value for the sum of nonylphenol (NP), octylphenol (OP), nonylphenol ethoxylates (NP(EO)1-20) and octylphenol ethoxylates (OP(EO)1-20) will be significantly reduced in all OEKO-TEX product classes:


Sum: NP + OP + NP(EO)1-20 + OP(EO)1-20: 100 mg/kg (previously 250 mg/kg)


With this further reduction, OEKO-TEX is once again contributing to the complete exclusion of NP and OP as well as alkylphenol ethoxylates from textile production, which is a goal striven for by the industry.


Thanks to the globally introduced company audits that form part of every OEKO-TEX certification, all the companies participating in the OEKO-TEX system will also be made aware of these particularly environmentally harmful and problematic substances in auxiliary agents.


2) The specifications for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) will become much more stringent. In the future, the following limit value must not be exceeded for all product classes (PC):


Product class I to IV: < 1.0 μg/m² (previously PC I: 0.05 mg/kg; PC II and III: 0.1 mg/kg; PC IV: 0.5 mg/kg)


This also ensures that the OEKO-TEX Standard 100 covers the applicable legal regulation for PFOA in Norway for textiles, carpets and other coated consumer goods. Since not only PFOA itself but also several perfluorooctanoic acid salts and esters are prohibited, the CAS no. of PFOA is not specified in Annex 5 of the OEKO-TEX Standard 100. Instead, it is accommodated under the "various" entry.


The limit value for perfluorooctane sulfonates (PFOS) is also changing to < 1.0 μg/m² in all product classes (previously 1.0 μg/m²).


With these two provisions, OEKO-TEX specifically supports the "Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC)" initiative and the Detox campaign of international brands and retailers that have committed themselves to exclude hazardous chemicals from the production process by 2020.


3) In the future, there will be differences in the check for chromium (VI) in leather and in other materials. For leather materials, EN ISO 17075, which considers special matrix effects for the testing of leather, will be taken account of as well as the new European (EU) legal regulation no. 301/2014 and regulation (EC) no.1907/2006 (REACh), respectively. The quantification limit for chromium(VI) is defined as 3.0 mg/kg. The requirement for leather materials with regard to chromium(VI) is therefore < 3.0 mg/kg (= below the limit of detection) in every product class of the OEKO-TEX® Standard 100.


For other materials, the previous requirement of < 0.5 mg/kg (= not used; quantification limit 0.5 mg/kg) continues to apply.


4) As is already the case in product classes I to III, only flame-retardant products that have up to now and by current technological standards been deemed harmless to health and that are included in the list of products accepted by OEKO-TEX can be used in product class IV (decoration materials) in the future. In this case, flame-retardant products may also be permitted for use only in product class IV.


For more clarity, the various flame-retardant products that are definitively prohibited are no longer listed in the limit value table (Annex 4). All expressly prohibited flame-retardant products will be listed in Annex 5 in the future. In addition to the substances that are already listed, the chemicals listed below are now included in Annex 5 of the OEKO-TEX Standard 100. Use of these chemicals is also completely prohibited with immediate effect.


Substance (CAS no.):


Boric acid (10043-35-3; 11113-50-1)

Diboron trioxide (1303-86-2)

Tetraboron disodium heptaoxide, hydrate (12267-73-1)

Disodium tetraborate, anhydrous (1303-96-4; 1330-43-4; 12179-04-3)

Trixylyl phosphate (25155-23-1)

Tetrabromodiphenyl ether (Various)

Hexabromodiphenyl ether (Various)

Heptabromodiphenyl ether (Various)

Tris(1,3-dichloroisopropyl)phosphate (TDCPP) (13674-87-8)


These measures will ensure that the OEKO-TEX Standard 100 covers substances from the SVHC candidate list as well as legal requirements, for instance in various US states or in Canada.


5) The limit value for the total content of cadmium after total digestion of the test sample will be reduced to 40 mg/kg as standard in all product classes (previously, PC I: 50 mg/kg; PC II to IV: 100 mg/kg). This ensures that the OEKO-TEX Standard 100 meets the requirements of the US state of Washington's "Children’s Safe Products Act (CSPA)" for cadmium – the strictest law worldwide in this area.


6) Formamide will be added to the standard as a new test substance for compact foams and foamed plastics such as EVA, PVC, etc. under the heading "Solvent Residues". The limit value will be 0.02 % (= 200 mg/kg) in all product classes. This ensures that due consideration is given on the one hand to the fact that formamide is included in the ECHA-SVHC candidate list (substances of very high concern) and on the other that there are legal provisions for specific materials/items in France.


7) The footnote for arylamines under the heading "Other Chemical Residues" has been changed to: "For all materials containing polyurethane or other materials that may contain free carcinogenic arylamines". This provides further clarification that materials that contain the free carcinogenic arylamines listed in Annex 5 cannot be certified.


8) Dihexyl phthalate, branched and linear (CAS no. 68515-50-4) and diisohexyl phthalate (CAS no. 71850-09-4) will also be included in phthalates/softeners in all four product classes. This ensures that due consideration is given to the fact that dihexyl phthalate, branched and linear (CAS no. 68515-50-4) is an SVHC candidate substance.

9) C.I. Pigment red 104 (lead chromate molybdate sulphate red) and C.I. Pigment yellow 34 (lead sulfochromate yellow) will be added to the list of colourants classed as carcinogenic and that are therefore prohibited in Annex 5 of the OEKO-TEX Standard 100. Both colourants, which are also included in the REACh SVHC candidate list and in Annex XIV of REACh, have been tested as part of the OEKO-TEX Standard 100 for many years now and are already prohibited and excluded; however, their inclusion and naming in Annex 5 now serves to further clarify this point.