Eco-friendly Zippers: A List of Environmental Standards

SBS Zipper Production Line

Inappropriate use of hazardous substances and inadequate treatment or disposal of the waste pose risks and hazards to the environment and human health. It is imperative that importers, manufacturers, distributors and any other parties involved should be fully aware of the potential risks and hazards, and strictly adhere to the enacted standards and applicable regulations in practice to ensure the highest level of safety in harmony with nature.

Below is a short list of those common environmental standards that are applicable to the zipper manufacturing industry.  This list may not be exhaustive. Additionally, there are also some special environmental standards adopted in the zipper industry. We will keep updating and expanding the list in response with the safety standards and regulations that keep evolving.

ASTM F963 (US)
ASTM refers to the American Society for Testing and Material and ASTM F963 stands for the Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Safety. The international standard F963 has been widely acknowledged as a gold standard for toy safety. F963 covers the requirements as well as test methods to protect those children under 14 against potential injuries and hazards. All toys in US shall meet the safety requirements of F963 since 2009, pursuant to CPSIA (Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008). Revised in 2016, the new standard ASTM F963-2016 that sees significant changes compared to its earlier version to strengthen the toy safety will enter into force on April 30, 2017.

CPSIA (US)
CPSIA stands for the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act 2008 and CPSC refers to the Consumer Product Safety Commission of the United States. The ACT was signed on August 14th, 2008, primarily targeted at those consumer products designed for the children who are aged or younger than 12. The regulation imposes test requirements and specifies restricted levels for specific hazardous materials, such as the acceptable phthalate levels for toys and specific child care items, allowable lead levels for paint, surface coatings and substrates, etc.

EN-71-3 (EU)
EN 71 is a well-known European standard that covers various different parts, specifying the safety requirements to be met for toys sold in EU. EN 71-3 stipulates the chemical migration limits of certain elements contained in toys. As per the newly revised EN 71-3:2013 standard, there are 19 substances with migration limits, including antimony, barium, cadmium, lead, mercury, nickel, selenium, etc. The migration levels of these toxic elements associated with the toy materials and components should be in conformity with the specified regulations to safeguard the younger children from hazards that can result from the migration and ingestion of such harmful chemicals.

Oeko-Tex Standard 100 (EU)
Oeko-Tex Standard 100 was developed in the early 1990s and issued by the International Association for Research and Testing in the Field of Textile Ecology, headquartered in Switzerland. Oeko-Tex is deemed as the product label for textiles that are tested for harmful substances.  There are 4 product classes that fall under this standard, ranging from those articles for babies and toddlers, articles that can come into direct/indirect contact with the skin to the furnishing materials. All components inclusive of the non-textile accessories (zippers, buttons, rivets, etc.) have to be in compliance with the standardized criteria.

REACH (EU)
REACH (EC 1907/2006) pertains to the EU regulation concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals. It took effect on June 1st, 2007, dealing with the production and use of chemical substances, and the potential adverse impacts they may have on the environment and human beings as well. In particular, the marketing and use of some Substances of Very High Concern (SVHCs) which are extremely dangerous shall be subject to authorization. The current Candidate List for Authorization includes 173 substances of very high concern.

ROHS (EU)
RoHS relates to the Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment. Originating in EU in 2002, RoHS regulates the restricted use and specifies the maximum allowable levels for such materials that are potentially hazardous to the environment and human beings, applicable to the electronics industry as well as the electrical products. Evolving from the original RoHS (Directive 2002/95/EC), RoHS 2(Directive 2011/65/EU) to the latest RoHS 3(Directive 2015/863), the current list of restricted substances includes:

  • Lead
  • Mercury
  • Cadmium
  • Hexavalent Chromium
  • Polybrominated Biphenyls
  • Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers
  • Bis(2-Ethylhexyl) phthalate
  • Benzyl butyl phthalate
  • Dibutyl phthalate
  • Diisobutyl phthalate

End Words
SBS zipper has recently entered into a landmark partnership with the Bluesign System. From the rigorous restriction and elimination of harmful chemicals during the selection of raw materials, effective real-time and on-site inspection throughout the manufacturing process, heavy investment into the establishment of a green factory to the environment-friendly recycling and recovery, etc., we have been operating in line with the full spectrum of globally accredited standards and mandatory regulations to ensure sustainable development in harmony with the ecosystem.

Normal product testing reports can be downloaded here. Other reports are available upon request. Our eco-friendly zippers and accessories can be subject to the testing, inspection and verification by the designated third parties if necessary.

 

References
1.US CPSC Accepts ASTM F963-2016 as Mandatory Toy Safety Standard
2.U.S. – CPSC Approves Revised ASTM F963-16 as a Mandatory Toy Safety Standard
3.The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA)
4.CPSIA|Consumer Goods and Retail
5.EN 71
6.Toys: New Safety Standard Published EN 71-3:2013
7.Oeko-tex Standard
8.Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals
9.RoHS Compliance Guide: Regulations, 10 Substances, Exemptions, WEEE

 

 

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