Posted on 21/02/2018 in category Legislation

European Chemicals Regulations being amended to prohibit certain CMR* chemicals in Clothing and Textiles that contact skin

The EU Chemicals Regulation REACh is not limited to new products and also applies to second-hand goods. BIR asked last year for second-hand clothing to have an exemption from the REACh Regulation prohibition on new clothing, explaining that used clothes have been washed often many times and so no longer have the same chemicals in them as new production clothing.

BIR has obtained the exemption and that is “Good News”. The proposed Regulation makes it clear that “second-hand clothing and related accessories” are excluded. However, there is now some discussion about what else is excluded by the phrase “textiles other than clothing”? So is the proposed Regulation clear enough? Read the Regulation itself and in particular the detailed exemption in its Annex.

There is a logic in the EU law for the circular economy. However, there are great complexities in those laws, in particular where REACh applies or does not apply in the interfaces between Raw Materials, and goods for Direct Reuse, and Wastes, and Secondary Raw Material to make new Products.

BIR continues to need the help of its members to ensure the arguments the BIR Secretariat and its members use are all correct. We also need to check those arguments also protect activities of BIR members that we are not so aware of, such as the recycling of: bed linen, blankets and upholstery. As BIR will respond to the consultation on this proposed new Regulation, if you have concerns contact BIR Trade & Environment Director Ross Bartley ( before  6th March 2018.

The European Commission webpage on, this issue is:   

*CMR - Carcinogenic, Mutagenic and Reprotoxic