Carcinogenic dyes are still used by many manufacturers due to their being cheap, despite the fact that European laws prohibit their use. These dyes can cause a variety of adverse health effects, carcinogenic or otherwise, as well as allergic reactions when brought into contact with the skin.
Allergenic dyes have considerable sensitising potential.
Their use in products intended to come into contact with the skin must be avoided in order to safeguard children against the onset of allergic conditions such as, for example, dermatitis, itching and redness.
Phthalates are organic chemicals produced from petroleum and are among the most common plasticisers in the world.
Their purpose is to soften plastics. In clothing, they are generally used to produce T-shirt prints and other soft plastic elements. Many phthalates are classified as toxic to reproduction and in some cases are suspected of being responsible for adverse health effects, such as allergies and liver and kidney damage.
Heavy metals include lead, often used for buttons and plastic elements, nickel, used for the metal finish of belt buckles and so on, and chromium, often found in leather, as well as cadmium, mercury, arsenic and other metals present as residues of the industrial processes undergone by clothing.
Heavy metals can have diverse adverse health effects, depending on the type of metal, and can be carcinogenic, can affect the central nervous system, can be sensitising, or can cause irritation of the skin. Many metals are also potentially dangerous for the environment.
Formaldehyde is a volatile organic compound mainly used for the production of resins, and is sometimes used in the textile industry to make fabrics crease resistant. Being a powerful bactericide, formaldehyde is also used to treat fabrics for conservation purposes.
Formaldehyde can cause irritation of the skin and allergic reactions, and is suspected of being carcinogenic.
Particular attention is also paid to small parts such as sequins.
In order to simulate the force that the child may exercise with teeth and fingers children's clothing are tested to verify the force needed to separate small parts from clothing.
When small parts are not graspable the clothing articles are washed in a special equipment and after the test, the small parts should remain not graspable.
The scope of the verification is to assure small parts are not accessible to the children.
Attention to hazardous drawstrings. The release of eco safe mark is dependent upon the verification of children's clothing with the scope to verify that the items have the correct design and construction. The scope of the verification is to underline the conformity for the use of the eco safe mark.