ZDHC announces harmful chemical substances to be added to the ZDHC Manufacturing Restricted Substances List (ZDHC MRSL) in Version 3.0 including PFAS treatments used for textiles, leather, and footwear. This announcement highlights the expected changes for MRSL Version 3.0 which will be released on the Roadmap to Zero website (www.roadmaptozero.com).
The updated ZDHC MRSL V3.0 will be published by ZDHC on 1 November 2022 with a transition period of 12 months for effective implementation by all stakeholders. The ZDHC MRSL is a living document, and is updated as needed following the published MRSL Principles and Procedures (PnP) document.
Joel Tickner, ScD, Professor of Public Health UMass Lowell and Executive Director Green Chemistry & Commerce Council said “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. We look forward to working with ZDHC in growing the commercialisation, adoption, scale of safer, more sustainable chemistries and materials to address the toxicity, biodiversity, and climate impacts of our current generation of chemicals.”
The ZDHC MRSL bans certain harmful chemical substances from intentional use in manufacturing facilities that process textile materials, synthetic leather, leather, and trim parts in textiles and footwear. It offers the industry a harmonised list of banned chemical substances and enables the ZDHC Gateway Chemical Module, the industry’s largest list of safer alternative chemical formulations meeting the ZDHC MRSL requirement. By using MRSL conformant chemical formulations found on the ZDHC Gateway suppliers can assure their customers that they adhere to the requirements of the ZDHC MRSL, speeding up the industry’s journey on its course towards a better environmental footprint.
The updated ZDHC MRSL V3.0 will align with bluesign’s planned removal of all existing bluesign® APPROVED PFAS containing formulations from the bluesign® FINDER in order to restrict PFAS under REACH for all non-essential uses including in consumer products [‘Future of PFAS’ https://www.bluesign.com/en/future-of-pfas].
According to Ullhas M. Nimkar (M.Sc. Leeds, U.K., C. Col; FSDC, FTA) President, The Society of Dyers and Colourists and Member, The ZDHC MRSL Council, “ZDHC MRSL has clearly evolved as the gold standard for cleaner input chemicals in the global textile supply chain. 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 (Per & Poly fluorinated alkylated) 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. “
The independent MRSL Advisory Council (MAC) composed of industry, NGO, and academic experts used a science-based process for updating the ZDHC MRSL. This ensures an objective evaluation of chemical substances. The MAC made the final decisions regarding the substances added to the list and their limit values.
As a ZDHC Contributor, we welcome the update. It is critical for chemical formulators of the textile, leather, and footwear industry to align with one global MRSL. The benefit to chemical formulators is that they don’t need to deal with multiple hazardous substance specifications and limits which simplifies chemical management processes. Most textile and leather customers purchasing chemicals now request compliance with the latest ZDHC MRSL and a ChemCheck Report as proof.”
– Dr. Amy Huang, Head of Product Stewardship Division Everlight Chemical Industrial Corporation
The ZDHC MRSL Version 3.0 follows two previous updates of the ZDHC MRSL which achieved industry-wide alignment through a gap analysis of previously existing brand-specific MRSLs. Notable changes include a restriction on all PFAS substances, a limit for aniline in dyestuffs and the inclusion of a number of organic solvents.
According to Phil Patterson, Chair of the MRSL Advisory Council who led the review process, “the ZDHC Roadmap to Zero Programme continues to evolve. This enables us to take a tough but pragmatic approach to previously challenging topics such as solvents and chemicals that are recognised as being harmful but necessary for critical end uses, such as medical textiles or items for first responders.”
This November, ZDHC will launch its MRSL Version 3.0 online and update the ZDHC MRSL document on its Roadmap to Zero website www.roadmaptozero.com.