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FAQs: Chemical Management in Textile, Leather Supply Chains

Read the interview with UL’s experts on how to reduce hazardous chemicals from your supply chain.

Chemist working on chemicals

July 21, 2021

Following UL’s webinar “Chemical Management: Reducing Hazardous Chemicals in Textile and Leather,” we interviewed our chemistry experts, Judith Haber and Alessio Castelletti, to clarify the most frequently asked questions from retailers and brands on sustainable chemistry and chemical management.

Below you will find the complete interview. Feel free to share this article on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

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Who are the best team members to structure an efficient chemical management team in a textile and leather company?

A comprehensive list of professionals to be included in a chemical management team includes:

  • EHS manager: to oversee the entire chemical management system
  • Effluent treatment plant (ETP) manager/technician: to provide insights and understanding of the impacts on effluent from chemical inputs
  • Product quality manager: to ensure the performance quality of the purchased chemicals while ensuring compliance with the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals Manufacturing Restricted Substances List (ZDHC MRSL)
  • Operations/production manager: to ensure the proper application of chemicals (for example, nature, quantity) in the production phase
  • Purchasing/procurement manager/officer: to ensure alignment of purchasing chemicals in compliance with the ZDHC MRSL.

How can I structure my due diligence once the chemical inventory has been completed?

The chemical inventory list (CIL) should provide information on manufacturers and chemical products in the positive list of ZDHC. These manufacturer and products shall be prioritized.

If it’s not possible to find a chemical or manufacturer conformant with ZDHC MRSL, the facility shall perform a risk assessment on the noncertified products. This may lead to a test of the products for MRSL conformance while requiring the suppliers to move in a way that will lead their products to be conformant to the ZDHC MRSL.

What are the benefits of a restricted substance list (RSL)?

Benefits of an RSL are numerous but we can highlight the most relevant:

  • Compliance with various substance restricting laws such as REACH regulation (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals), U.S. CPSC (U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission), RoHS Directive (Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive), Toxics in Packaging, and various U.S. state regulations
  • Protecting customer and consumer health and the environment
  • Enhancing brand image through the promotion of health and environmental responsibility and sustainability
  • Managing current and future chemical concerns throughout the supply chain and product life cycle
  • Helping protect revenues by reducing the costs of recalls.

What types of chemicals would be included on the RSL?

Substances are placed on the RSL due to human or environmental factors including but not limited to:

  • Causing allergic reactions
  • Irritation or chemical burns
  • Carcinogenic
  • Mutagenic
  • Reproductive toxins
  • Toxicity to the environment including but not limited to aquatic life

Chemical Management: Reducing Hazardous Chemicals in Textile and Leather

Gain insight from UL’s experts on how the Manufacturing Restricted Substances List (MRSL) and Restricted Substances List (RSL) can reduce hazardous chemicals in your textile and leather supply chain.

Watch the video

Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) Certification and Testing Programs

We can help you manage your supply chain to reduce the amount of hazardous chemicals that are discharged into water waste. This is done in compliance with the ZDHC program, which supports the implementation of best practices to protect the environment.

Learn more

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