Protecting the Consumer and Servicing
the Trade with Independence and Integrity

AZO DYES - CARCINOGENIC AMINES Azo colourants are widely used in textile fibres, leather, plastics, papers, hair, mineral oils, waxes, foodstuffs and cosmetics. Regulations for Azo dyestuffs relate to the amines formed by reductive degradation and which are classified as carcinogenic.

COLOUR FASTNESS As fabrics, leather and beads will generally be dyed, colour fastness testing methods are used to determine the release of these dyes onto different fabrics. The Laboratory has developed a unique method accredited by UKAS to evaluate colour fastness for coloured costume jewellery beads which may be made from plastics, wood, glass, metal or other materials. FORMALDEHYDE Formaldehyde is used in the production of fabrics and leather tanning. Exposure to formaldehyde has been linked to adverse health effects. Typically this occurs through inhalation or skin contact. Other chemical tests include: CHROMIUM (VI) IN LEATHER PENTACHLOROPHENOL (PCP), CHLORINATED PHENOLS (PCP, TCP and TeCP), DIMETHYL FUMARATE (DMF) GC-MS analysis, PHTHALATES PH – LEATHER, PH – TEXTILES, PH – PROCESSED WET TEXTILES and FIBRE COMPOSITION OF TEXTILE PRODUCTS The Laboratory plays a leading role in helping traders ensure that the public is protected from the catastrophic effects that lead and nickel can have if used inappropriately. Other toxins which cause concern include cadmium, mercury, arsenic, selenium, barium, chromium and antimony. NICKEL TESTING An increasing number of people have become sensitised to nickel. A European Directive now controls the use of nickel in items that come into prolonged and direct contact with the skin. The Laboratory has developed the fast and inexpensive 'Quick Nickel' test that accurately identifies items that definitely comply with UK Nickel regulations. CADMIUM TESTING Cadmium is a toxic metal, it is potentially a very harmful element and needs to be controlled in industrial applications. ?The use of cadmium in metal jewellery products, plastics and paint is restricted by the REACH Directive as of December 2011. This has significantly added to the testing burden on fashion accessory suppliers who are already testing for nickel and lead. Our cadmium tests are available for metal and non metal products including leather as well as paints and other similar surface coatings.

LEAD TESTING

Lead is toxic even at very low levels. UK suppliers need to undertake 'due diligence procedures' to ensure that their products are safe and, where there is any room for doubt, they must have them tested. Our accredited tests achieve the most accurate results possible for both lead content and, more importantly, for lead release from a product.

FLAMMABILITY TESTING The BS EN71-2 standard specifies the categories of flammable materials that are prohibited in all toys, and the requirements concerning flammability of toys when subjected to a small ignition source.

THE RESTRICTION OF HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES DIRECTIVE (ROHS) The Laboratory specialises in tests to ensure that jewellery, watches and other products meet European legislation restricting the level of toxic elements causing pollution and long term damage after disposal.
 

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