ZDHC MRSL version 3.0 restricts use of all PFAS

ZDHC new version MRSL restricts-PFAS

Amsterdam based – Apparel and footwear industry chemical management specialist ZDHC has announced the latest version of its Manufacturing Restricted Substances List (MRSL) recently. The new version of MRSL restricts all PFAS used for textile, footwear and leather treatments.

ZDHC new version MRSL restricts-PFAS
Figure: ZDHC MRSL version 3.0 restricts use of all PFAS. Courtesy: ZDHC

“The new ZDHC MRSL Version 3.0 sets a clear and unified signal from the apparel and footwear sector of the chemistries that need to be avoided across this and other manufacturing sectors as well as where innovation is needed. The restriction on all PFAS for textile, leather, and footwear finishing is consistent with growing scientific and policy concerns about the impacts of the class of PFAS chemicals,” said Joel Tickner, ScD, Professor of Public Health UMass Lowell and Executive Director Green Chemistry & Commerce Council.

“ZDHC MRSL Version 3.0 remains contemporary with the inclusion of newer chemicals of concern and reducing the permissible limits for impurities. This has been possible as the industry is moving towards cleaner production. Notably all the listed PFAS chemicals, commonly known as “forever chemicals” have been moved from the candidate list into the main list. This is a significant change which will be better for the environment,” said Ullhas M. Nimkar, President, The Society of Dyers and Colourists and Member, The ZDHC MRSL Council.

PFAS stands for Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances, a group of chemicals consisting of approximately 9,000 compounds. PFAS is a toxic chemical. These chemicals are called “forever chemicals” because they do not break down naturally and remain in the environment forever.

These chemicals are widely used as additives in textile manufacturing due to their unique chemical properties that can make textiles water-, stain-, or heat-resistant. PFASs are used as coatings on our everyday articles such as t-shirts, jeans, outdoor jackets and shoes to make them water, stain and heat resistant.

The adverse effects of PFAS are that they accumulate in animals, including humans, and are linked to cancer, birth defects, liver disease, thyroid disease, immune suppression, hormone disruption, and other serious health problems.

The updated ZDHC MRSL version 3.0 will be published by ZDHC on its Roadmap to Zero website on November 1st with a 12-month transition period for effective implementation by all stakeholders.

The ZDHC Foundation oversees the implementation of the Roadmap to Zero program and is a global multi-stakeholder initiative of over 160 contributors within the fashion and footwear industry. The vision is the widespread implementation of sustainable chemistry, driving innovation and best practices to protect consumers, workers and the environment.