Greater Nordic influence in the EU on chemicals

The Nordic countries will work together to propose that the EU strengthens the regulation and declaration of chemicals in textiles.

Through this initiative, the Nordic countries will develop a joint position on chemicals in textiles in order to provide input to the strategy for a toxic-free environment currently being developed by the EU. The strategy, which is scheduled for publication in 2018, will focus on issues such as exposing consumers to fewer chemicals and endocrine disruptors, including from imported products. This has particular relevance for the textile area.

The work in the EU will require documentation of the presence of specific chemicals in textiles, as well as their harmful effects. Therefore, Nordic prioritisation of the area and targeted mapping surveys will be fundamental to the initiative.

As a first step, an analysis of current initiatives concerning the labelling of chemicals in textiles and of opportunities and needs is being made by the Swedish research institute Swerea IVF. The analysis identifies the need for labelling (including positive and negative side effects) and which substances should be covered, as well as legal and practical issues related to implementation. Also, the analysis proposes a Nordic strategy for a labelling system for chemicals in textiles.

The initiative was launched in 2015 and is embedded in the Nordic Chemicals Group (NKG).

For more information, please contact: Louise Fredsbo Karlsson, Danish EPA,