Category:

Laboratories

INNOVATION & LABORATORIES

30th March 2021

STeP

As usual, at the beginning of the year, the OEKO-TEX® Association updated the applicable test criteria, limit values and requirements for its range of certifications and labels. The following new standards for OEKO-TEX® STeP standards come into force on 1 April 2021 after a three-month transition period.

Due to the current COVID-19 situation, the OEKO-TEX® Association modifies the STeP certification process and audit requirements for new and existing STeP clients as follows. The new procedure only applies to clients where travel restrictions apply and the usual STeP certification process cannot be followed.


Self-assessment:

The Self-Assessment shall be completed by the client in time and the Questionnaire shall be reviewed by the STeP Auditor in time.

New STeP clients applying for the first time for STeP will be audited by the STeP Auditor through a Remote Guided Audit (including a Virtual Office Audit), where an OEKO-TEX® representative will conduct an On-site Audit, guided by the STeP Auditor.

Existing STeP clients who are within the compliance process will be audited by the STeP Auditor through the Virtual Office Audit. The STeP Auditor decides if an additional Virtual Site Visit is necessary. For existing clients who are in the process of recertification, the following audit procedure applies: If there have been no significant changes to the premises, the STeP Auditor will conduct a Virtual Office Audit with the client. If there have been significant changes (in management, units or processes, or additional processes), the STeP auditor will conduct a virtual office audit with the client and a virtual site visit or on-site audit within the next 9 months.

New additions of substances to the list of STeP / DTZ by OEKO-TEX® chemicals:

– Titanium dioxide (CAS 1317-70-0; 1317-80-2): addition of titanium dioxide (TiO2) for respirable size particles to STeP MRSL Group 14

 

Update of air emission limit values in ANNEX 5 “Air emission limit values”.

– SO2 limits for solid and liquid fuels have been tightened.

  • SO2: For installations with a thermal value between 0,3 MW and 2 MW, 2 MW and 50 MW

Solid fuel mg/Nm³ Minimum: before: 2000 / after: 750 Advanced: before: 1000 / after: 500 Liquid fuel mg/Nm³ Minimum: before: 1700 / after: 650 Advanced: before: 800 / after: 400

  • SO2: For plants with a thermal value > 50 MW

All fuels mg/Nm³ Minimum: before: 1700 / after: 650 Advanced: before: 800 / after: 400

 

Further development of the STeP questionnaire in relation to the topics listed below:

– GHG (Greenhouse Gas) emissions within the facility –
Safety in and around the wastewater treatment plant –
Living wage awareness –
Epidemic/pandemic prevention/action plan

 

After a three-month transition period, the new STeP by OEKO – TEX® standard will become mandatory on 1 April.

For more information on the new OEKO-TEX® test criteria, please contact info@aitex.es.

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INNOVATION & LABORATORIES

30th March 2021

Logo_Eco_Passport

As usual, at the beginning of the year, the OEKO-TEX® Association updated the applicable test criteria, limit values and requirements for its range of certifications and labels. The following new standards for ECO PASSPORT by OEKO-TEX® come into force on 1 April 2021 after a three-month transition period:

New additions to the catalogue of limit values

Strengthened threshold values – TeBT: The threshold for TeBT is lowered from 5 mg/kg to 1 mg/kg.

New under observation

– Diisocyanates: to be placed “under observation”.

Virtual on-site visits. Due to COVID 19 travel restrictions, personal on-site visits are almost impossible. To temporarily overcome this situation, a process of virtual on-site visits has been put in place as a temporary solution for our clients to obtain an ECO PASSPORT with on-site visit as well as ZDHC Level-3 compliance, while maintaining the on-site visit requirement.

After a three-month transition period, the new ECO PASPORT by OEKO – TEX® test criteria and limit values will become mandatory for all certifications on 1 April 2021.

For more information on the new OEKO-TEX® test criteria, please contact info@aitex.es.

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INNOVATION & LABORATORIES

30th March 2021

OE-100

As usual, at the beginning of the year, the OEKO-TEX® Association updated the applicable test criteria, limit values and requirements for its range of certifications and labels. The following new standards for OEKO-TEX® STANDARD 100 come into force on 1 April 2021 after a three-month transition period:

Changes in limit values

– PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) and salts belonging to perfluorinated and polyfluorinated alkyl compounds as well as PFOA-related substances that were still under observation in 2020 are again included in the criteria catalogues Appendices 4 and 6 of the OEKO-TEX® STANDARD 100. – PFOA and salts Sum: 0.025 mg/kg – PFOA-related substances Sum: 1.0 mg/kg Note: already in force since 9th September 2020.

– The limit value for Bisphenol-A (PC I-IV) in the criteria catalogues Annex 4 and 6 of the OEKO-TEX® STANDARD 100 is reduced to the following – Bisphenol-A: 100 mg/kg (PC I-IV)

– For film materials with incorporated calcium bicarbonate/carbonate or talc, which do not have direct skin contact, the pH value range is 4.0-10.0.

– A limit value for the total content of heavy metals and the content of extractable (heavy) metals in fittings made of glass (PC II-IV) of 0.1% is introduced. This concerns lead and cadmium. The new footnote on page 3 is as follows: For fittings made of glass 0.1 %.

In general, the strict requirements for waste in textile materials also place less burden on the environment, employees and consumers. In many cases, STANDARD 100 limit values go beyond national and international requirements. Therefore, the strategy of OEKO-TEX® has been to be proactive in the field of consumer protection as a pioneer and not to wait for legislation.

This means that any article or product certified to the OEKO-TEX® STANDARD 100, LEATHER STANDARD and ECO PASSPORT also complies with the limit values of Appendix XVII of the REACH Regulation.

Recycled materials

As of this year, a unified approach for integrating recycled materials into the OEKO-TEX® STANDARD 100 framework is being introduced. This uniform approach requires a minimum amount of recycled content, different test programmes depending on the origin of the material and the definition of the necessary background information. The label that is issued can be used to inform consumers about the recycling efforts that have been made on the product. Recycled materials are difficult to certify. With their previous life, these materials pose different challenges than normal virgin material. For this reason, these materials are treated differently within the OEKO-TEX® STANDARD 100 and receive a special mention in the scope of the certificate.

Self-assessment

Due to COVID 19-related travel restrictions, personal on-site visits are almost impossible. To temporarily overcome this situation, a self-assessment process was implemented. Self-assessments are a temporary solution for our clients to obtain a certification without having to stop the on-site visit.

After a three-month transition period, the new STANDARD 100 by OEKO – TEX® test criteria and limit values will become mandatory for all certifications on 1 April 2021.

For more information on the new OEKO-TEX® test criteria, please contact info@aitex.es.

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INNOVATION & LABORATORIES

23th October 2020

banner2_oekotex_portfolio

Industry and the private sector in general are facing the greatest challenge of recent decades following the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has increased social concern for sustainability and the environment and consequently, demand for information and transparency from consumers.

OEKO-TEX® certifications have evolved over the past 30 years with the aim of simplifying customer decisions by offering consumers peace of mind in the knowledge that the production processes and techniques used in the manufacture of an article are transparent and environmentally friendly.

In the last year, there has been a 525% increase in the number of consumers demanding products with OEKO-TEX® certification, which has issued 24,205 certificates and labels guaranteeing that production processes and methods are approved by accredited bodies.

AITEX is one of 18 institutes worldwide accredited to issue this type of certification, and market demand is growing. Amongst these, the demand for MADE IN GREEN by OEKO-TEX® and STeP by OEKO-TEX® certification has increased significantly in the last year, with the number of MADE IN GREEN® labels increasing by 115% compared to 2019

These accreditations, together with the other OEKO-TEX® certifications have been modified during 2020 by broadening and improving the requirements for awarding the certifications.

STANDARD 100

In conventional cotton cultivation, genetically modified (GMO) seeds are often used to make the plant more resistant to pesticides or insects. AITEX offers the STANDARD 100 certification, which incorporates a new method for testing GMOs in cotton to detect whether the raw cotton has been genetically modified.

LEATHER STANDARD

In the case of the OEKO-TEX® LEATHER STANDARD, goods such as horse leather have been added to the approved list while others including rabbit fur, have been removed.

OEKO-TEX® STEP and OEKO-TEX® DETOX TO ZERO

In order to reduce water pollution and the use of chemicals that are harmful to health in textile production, the OEKO-TEX® STEP certification has this year incorporated the DETOX TO ZERO requirement.

ECO PASSPORT

Since April 2020, ECO PASSPORT by OEKO-TEX® has been one of the few certification bodies to offer all three levels of ZDHC (Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals). Compliance with ZDHC Level 2 can be issued via the regular certification process and offers the possibility of carrying out a self-certification process with or without a site visit.

In order to assure consumers that the tests carried out by the accredited laboratories meet the strict OEKO-TEX® requirements, AITEX as an accredited body, complies annually with the intercomparison tests carried out by the Round Robin Tests programme.

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LABORATORIES & INNOVATION

13 th July 2020

Traditional soccer ball on soccer field

AITEX is one of eight worldwide FIFA-approved laboratories for the approval of artificial turf football pitches. The FIFA quality concept has become a recognised international standard. Laboratories who are recognised by FIFA must undergo a rigorous selection process in which the technical capacity of the laboratories is evaluated.

The FIFA Quality Concept for Synthetic Surfaces was created with a commitment to standardise the quality and safety of artificial surfaces for football players and to promote the development of artificial turf technology.

The FIFA Quality Programme has several objectives: to improve the game at all levels, and protect the health of players and clubs and associations who need products that meet the highest safety and quality requirements.

FIFA has designed two categories or quality marks for artificial turf depending on the needs of the players and the use for which the surfaces are intended:

o FIFA QUALITY is primarily aimed at grassroots football, mainly in the amateur level. The certification is valid for three years.

o FIFA QUALITY PRO, is primarily intended for professional and high-performance football. The certification is valid for one year.

The process of certification of a sports surface takes place in different phases. Firstly, the artificial turf systems are pre-tested in the laboratory and if the results of the analysis meet all the requirements, FIFA can certify the pitch with either the FIFA QUALITY or FIFA QUALITY PRO labels if it is installed with an artificial turf system previously approved by FIFA. Only FIFA-accredited companies can initiate this process.

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The environmental impact of the textile sector has become one of today’s most worrying issues, as it is the second most polluting industry on the planet. The high consumption of water and chemical products, its carbon footprint, dumping and the emission of microplastics are some of the critical aspects of the production process. Coupled with the enormous quantities of waste and the low recycling rate (only 1% is transformed into new garments) means that the development of sustainable strategies and business models are urgently needed.

In response to the needs and challenges that this change represents for the textile sector, AITEX has created a Technical Unit for Sustainability and Circular Economy that will work transversally along three lines of action: R+D, Laboratories and Training.

In R&D, AITEX has 37 experimental plants to work on the challenges posed by the circular economy at all stages of the textile life cycle, through the development of its own research projects or in collaboration with partners. The line covers everything from eco-design and environmentally friendly production processes, to the prevention of waste and recycling in the final phase of the textile production cycle. The development of new bio-fibres and bio-polymers, chemical and mechanical recycling processes, the revaluation of pre- and post-consumption waste, the use of auxiliary products of natural origin and research into eco-finishing processes are some of the fields in which R&D projects are currently being carried out.
AITEX’s laboratory facilities provide companies with infrastructure and laboratory equipment for the characterisation of products, quality control and certification, in compliance with international sustainability regulations and standards. Voluntary eco-labels or certifications in sustainability and traceability are an important transparency tool that provides consumers with information on the environmental impact of products when making purchasing decisions. AITEX is an accredited entity for the Global Recycle Standard (GRS) and Recycled Claim Standard (RSC) certifications that verify the content of recycled material in products as well as compliance with good environmental practices in processes.
Likewise, the Institute creates social and environmental value by promoting environmental education, innovation, efficiency and the generation of employment and a stronger industrial base. AITEX’s Training Division provides technical training in new sustainable techniques and low environmental impact textile processes through courses in collaboration with other leading institutions such as the UPV.
With the introduction of the Technical Unit, AITEX makes its capabilities and resources available to textile manufacturers to improve their position as environmentally sustainable companies and to generate business opportunities through the change to new circular models.
After an initial analysis of the sector’s needs, one of the actions that will be carried out in the short term is the creation of an Environmental Sustainability Guide for the Textile Sector; in which concepts, applicable regulations, available certifications, success cases and good practices will be clarified.
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AITEX will attend the twenty-second International Safety Fair over the 25th and 28th of February in Madrid. Pay us a visit in Hall 3, Stand E05.

The International Safety Fair Spain, organised by IFEMA, will bring together manufacturers and suppliers of safety equipment in five major areas: security, including electronic security, physical safety and security services; defence, which includes advanced security solutions in defence; cybersecurity, responsible for the protection of business information, systems and data; fire and emergency security, acting actively and passively against fire; and safety in the workplace, covering the protection and welfare of employees.

SICUR

AITEX’s advanced protective equipment laboratory

AITEX has continued to innovate and improve the service we provide by focusing our attention on the evolution of our laboratories towards covering items of Personal Protective Equipment that were previously beyond our remit. The Institute has been working for many years as a Notified Body in the evaluation of conformity of PPEs as gloves, clothing and harnesses and combining this experience with customer demand, we have been working towards providing our laboratories with the necessary equipment to evaluate PPEs for eye and facial, respiratory and head protection, and the evaluation of dielectric gloves for high voltage work. This year, visitors to the AITEX stand will get the opportunity to take a virtual tour of the testing facilities at the Institute.

AITEX recently achieved approval by ENAC as a Certification Body for Personal Protection Equipment, in compliance with ISO/IEC 17065:2012.

AITEX will also present its recent accreditation by the National Accreditation Entity (ENAC) as an Individual Protection Equipment Certification Body according to ISO / IEC 17065: 2012 in the field of regulatory action (Regulation (EU) 2016 / 425 and under the conformity assessment schemes: Module B (EU Type Exam), Module C2 (Conformity to type based on production control plus supervised control of the product at random intervals) and Module D (Conformity with the type based on the quality assurance of the production process).

 

Last year’s fair was visited by 43,732 professionals, an increase of 3.4% over 2016, and 1,344 companies from 81 different countries. Business participation rose to 651 exhibitors, an increase of 13% with a wider range of new safety products in each of the sectors represented. The last fair was one of the most representative and innovative to date, given its level of participation and the range of news, content and activities offered.

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LABORATORIOS & INNOVACIÓN

29 de Octubre de 2019

AITEX has recently been approved by ENAC (The National Accreditation Body) as a Certification Body for Personal Protection Equipment in compliance with ISO/IEC 17065:2012.

AITEX has recently been approved by ENAC (The National Accreditation Body) as a Certification Body for Personal Protection Equipment in compliance with ISO/IEC 17065:2012 within EU Regulation 2016/425, under the following evaluation of conformity schemes: Module B (EU Type Examination), Module C2 (Conformity of type based on production monitoring plus random supervised product monitoring) and Module D (Conformity of Type based on production QA).

The scope of Approval 155 C-PR364 granted to AITEX can be viewed on ENAC’s website (www.enac.es) covering the scope, products and hazards that AITEX can test. AITEX is also registered as Notified Body number 161 on the European Commission’s website (nando).

This new approval enables AITEX to provide certification of category II and III PPEs as both types require the application of Module B and, in the case of Category III, either Module C2 or D.

Depending on the evaluation procedure within (EU) 2016/425 which the client requires AITEX to test for as a Notified Body:

Module B: the EU Examination of Type is the part of the evaluation procedure that a Notified Body uses to approve the technical design of a PPE, verifying and certifying that the design complies with essential health and safety requirements required by the Regulation.

Module C2: the Notified Body will test the product to verify the QA procedures during manufacture and the homogeneity of the PPE and its conformity with the type described on the EU Type Examination Certificate and applicable health and safety requirements.

Module D: the Notified Body will evaluate the internal QA system to verify compliance with the requirements referred to in para. 3.2 Annexe VIII. It shall presume conformity with those requirements in respect of the elements of the quality system that comply with the corresponding specifications of the applicable harmonised standard.

The accreditation process integrated the requirements of ISO / IEC 17065: 2012 to the systems that AITEX previously applied, to certify under the conformity assessment schemes of Module B and C2 Personal Protection Equipment, establishing for these products the application procedures for Module D, which AITEX had previously only used for Marine Equipment. Thus, by integrating systematics with different scopes, AITEX has standardised within a single Accreditation Scope, the certifications for which it is approved, specifically in 155 C-PR364. For further details, visit the official ENAC website.

For more information:

ENAC: www.enac.es

European Commission:  Notified bodies nando

Photo of woman firefighter in helmet and mask standing near fire truck at fire station
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COSMETICS

29th October 2019

More than 2300 professionals from the cosmetic industry gathered at the 4th Cosmetorium fair held on October 23 and 24 at the Fira Montjuïc in Barcelona. This year is the second time AITEX has participated, and the fair covered a much larger exhibition space than previous years. 137 exhibitors, both national and international, who presented their new launches, products and services, supported the event: 13% more than the previous year.

Cosmetorium represents the largest showcase for the sector in our country. Manufacturers’ innovations and launches marked the new trends within the industry, with a clear commitment to conscious, responsible and sustainable cosmetics throughout the cosmetics manufacturing chain.

Within the scientific program organised by Cosmetorium, AITEX gave a conference on electro-spinning technology and its applications in cosmetics, which proved popular and generated considerable interest among leading companies in the sector. Electrospinning allows a new generation of nonwovens to be created, in a network of intertwined nanofibres. In the cosmetic sector, technology is used to manufacture masks or patches with active compounds, which dissolve and become absorbed completely during use, without creating waste.

AITEX also participated in the Tech Focus program on innovation in efficiency and effectiveness tests for hair care products, which was attended by leading companies in the sector who wanted to learn first-hand the range of innovative trials AITEX can provide.

cosmetorium
cosmetorium
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INNOVATION

29th October 2019

Protective equipment on a mannequin. Specialist clothes. Protective helmet. Antinoise headphones. Protective glasses. Personal protective equipment. Safety at work.

AITEX has a stand at the leading health and safety in the workplace fair in Düsseldorf from the 5th to the 8th November 2019

AITEX will be in Hall 4 Stand 4F01, introducing all the certification and testing services it offers in personal protective equipment. The A + A Fair actively contributes to progress and innovation for the benefit of people and businesses, and is the leading fair in occupational safety and health.

AITEX’s advanced protection equipment laboratory

At  the Textile Technological Institute (AITEX), we strive to continue innovating and improving the services we provide, focusing our attention on the evolution of our laboratories towards aspects of Personal Protective Equipment that were previously beyond our remit. The Institute’s laboratories have been working for many years as a Notified Body in the evaluation of the conformity of PPE in the form of gloves, clothing and harnesses. Taking this invaluable experience as a base, and seeking to meet customer demand, we have been working to provide our laboratories with the necessary equipment to evaluate PPE for Eye and Facial Protection, Respiratory, Head Protection and Evaluation of Dielectric Gloves for high voltage work.


Global and comprehensive eye and face protection service

The data collected by the Ministry of Labour, Migration and Social Security from January to May of 2019 reveal that during this period, the number of occupational accidents involving eye and face injuries was 7,818 and 1,907 respectively.
Between the two, these accidents represent 72.9% of all accidents related to injuries to the head and 4.4% of the total workplace accidents.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 26% of occupational injuries or illnesses that affected the head during 2017 involved the eyes.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), of the United States Department of Labor, considers it essential to reduce the possible risks by correct workplace design, as well as knowledge of the different personal protective equipment (PPE) available and the correct use of each of them according to the activity undertaken.
The prevalence of eye and facial accidents previously revealed shows how important protection is in the workplace, as well as the need to assess the risks of each job and promote employee training so they can choose the appropriate PPE according to the risk to which they are exposed.
AITEX is fully equipped and possesses the necessary infrastructure to perform tests on face and eye protection.
Article published in the AITEX review nº63: reed more
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