Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Germany Bans Chromium (VI) in Leather Products

Chromium (VI) is a chromium species in the oxidation state +6, which is carcinogenic, mutagenic and toxic for reproduction. It is a hazardous substance also can cause skin irritation if contacted with skin. In the past chromium (VI) containing salts of chromic acid have been used for leather tanning leaving some residue in the leather. Most leathers are still tanned by using chromium salts but chromium (VI) has been replaced by safer alternatives, e.g. by using chromium (III) salts for tanning. Due to a potential conversion process of chromium (III) to chromium (VI) this is still occasionally found in consumer products.

European Union Regulation (REACH Annex XVII) restricts chromium (VI) substances but, this is currently limited to non-consumer products. In order to strengthen consumer protection there has been an initiative by Germany to cover consumer products made from leather as well, and Cr 6 already banned by German Consumer Goods Ordinance (18 BedGgstVÄndV).

Substances: Chromium (VI)

Scope: Leather materials in consumer products with body contact
e.g. Toys, Clothing, Watch straps, Leather Furnishure, Bags and etc.

Test method: § 64 LFGB 82.02-11 B

Requirement: ≤ 3 mg/kg

Effective date: 14 August 2010

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