Oeko-Tex 100 is an independent organization that tests textiles for any harmful substances or residue of chemicals. Unlike the Oeko Test that is done randomly every 5-10 years, Oeko-Tex has to be reapplied for every year. Oeko-Tex 100 has strict regualtions and manufacturers voluntarily apply for the Oeko-Tex 100 label every year. It is the best, most recent and accurate certification that your textile item is free from any harmful chemicals and safe to use for you and your baby, even with a lot of skin exposed.
The Oeko-Tex Standard 100 is the world's leading eco label for textiles. Products carrying this label have been tested and certificated by internationally renowned textile insitutes in one of 15 countries around the world.
Textiles products bearing this label will provide reassurance in your pursuit of a healthy lifestyle.
Because organic cotton in the raw stage can be treated with other chemicals along the way during the process into fabric, i.e. toxic dyes, the Oeko-Tex 100 started operating in different stages of the manufacturing of fabrics. Rather than certifying the organic fabric in its raw stage, the end product is certified free from chemicals or residue. This has been a new standard for more than a decade in Europe. There are also limited organic cotton farms on the face of the earth and there is no way the few organic cotton farmers could supply the demand of chemically free cotton to the rest of the world. The Austrian Textile Research Institute and the Hohenstein Research Institute in Germany came together to develop the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 to ensure harmful substances that started surfacing in the early 1990's would not continue to be used. Pretty much all textiles manufactured and sold in Europe are Oeko-Tex 100 certified and a fair amount of imported textiles as well. All conscientious parents make sure that they only buy Oeko-Tex 100 certified clothes or baby articles.
Oeko-Tex 100 has been the new standard in textile manufacturing in Europe. It is more important than organic cotton as it certifies the finished product, not the beginning product. The end product is ultimately the most important and knowing it is free from chemicals or other harmful residues is the most comforting feeling when wrapping a baby in a baby sling, new underwear, or receiving blanket.
Oeko-Tex 100 Testing
"Products that have been tested to the defined criteria of Oeko-Tex 100 and subsequently certified provide a guarantee that they will not pose any known risk to human health."
Among the test procedures are testing the fibre, yarn, fabric, accessory, and textile finishers, along with a unique saliva test.
"Given that the limit value of 20 parts per million for formaldehyde content is also approximately the limit of determination, this means that finishes containing this substance are effectively excluded from these products. PH values are set within the range that is most naturally skin friendly, and dyes or prints are fast to saliva to ensure that no color will bleed if the product is chewed."
Consistency around the World
"The member institutes of the association are coordinated in their activities in order to ensure constancy and compliance of products with the specified criteria. Products carrying the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 label are regularly and routinely obtained either from the consumer marketplace or by random sampling from the certified company without prior notice. Samples obtained are subjected to a full range of appropriate tests to ensure conformity."
"The performance criteria comprise over 100 test parameters, which are binding upon all of the testing laboratories within the Oeko-Tex Association. The limit values and associated criteria are defined according to the most contemporary knowledge available to the members of the Association. The criteria are regularly reviewed and are consistently equal to or more rigorous than the statutory requirements in any of the target countries for labeled products."
The Oeko-Tex Standard 100 prohibits or limits the use of known harmful substances. The following parameters are currently specifically included in the list of performance criteria:
* prohibited azo dyestuffs
*carcinogenic and allergy-inducing dyestuffs
*extractable heavy metals
*phthalates in baby articles
*butyl tin compounds (TBT and DBT)
*emission of volatile components
All of the test institutes use identical test procedures and specifications ensuring uniformity world-wide. The specifications to which the institutes work are defined according to the current state knowledge, generally being more rigorous than the statutory regulations in any of the individual countries represented.
Regular round trials are carried out in the member laboratories to monitor and ensure the levels of performance of all the institutes.
Major differences in statutory requirements and safety concepts exist throughout the world and therefore along the textile supply chain. In order to successfully and confidently source products and materials it is necessary to have a single uniform performance standard that can readily operate within the supply chain. Oeko-Tex Standard 100 meets this need. Additionally it has raised the awareness of companies within this supply chain to the ecological standards required to compete on a global basis."