The European Commission released a Regulation on 26th March 2014 that restricts the chromium VI content in leather products. The Regulation (No. 301/2014) is an amendment to Entry 47 of Annex XVII of the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulations.
The presence of chromium VI in leather can occur during the tanning process. Chromium VI compounds can be formed in leather through the oxidation of chromium III compounds, which are added in some tanning processes.
The new regulation applies to any leather article that is in contact with the skin and also to any leather component parts that may come into contact with the skin. The restriction is that the chromium VI content should not exceed 3.0 mg/kg.
The restriction will impact on the retailers and suppliers of products that are made from leather such as apparel, bags, belts and shoes.
The test method used to verify compliance with the restriction is EN ISO 17075
The Regulation is permitting a transition period for products to comply and retailers have until 1st May 2015. All products placed on the market after that date will need to meet the requirements of the new restrictions.
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