Consumer Products and Retail E-ssentials Banner


Your regular update for technical and industry information

Your regular update for technical and industry information

ISO: ISO 16190:2021 Testing Standard of PAHs in footwear is now published


In November 2021, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) published the standard of ISO 16190:20211. It is a testing method for the determination of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in footwear materials.

PAHs are usually not intentionally added to the production process and they are present as contaminants that are commonly found in rubber and pigment such as carbon black. PAHs are considered to be carcinogenic and genotoxic. Hence, several countries have restricted PAHs in articles such as footwear, e.g. in the European Union (EU), PAHs are restricted under REACH Annex XVII in consumer products containing rubber or plastic components that come into direct contact with skin, as well as clothing, footwear and textile articles with prolonged skin contact.

This new standard cancels and replaces the Technical Specification (ISO/TS 16190:2013). ISO 16190 is now aligned with EN 17132 and AfPS GS 2019:01 PAK in terms of the extraction procedure. Compared with ISO/TS 16190:2013, the most important change is that the extraction solvent is changed from n-hexane to toluene. This will lead to more comparable results as the extraction is a crucial step and probably to higher results as toluene is the better extraction solvent for PAHs in plastics.

Below are the highlights of changes in the new standard:
  • newly added the Introduction;
  • made the editorial changes and newly added a note in the Scope;
  • updated the Normative references;
  • newly added “Terms and definitions” in Clause 3;
  • renamed and made major technical changes on Clause 5 “Reagents”;
  • renamed Clause 6, and added equipment as well as made some minor technical changes in Clause 6;
  • added sample preparation in Clause 7;
  • made major technical changes and editorial changes for the procedure in Clause 8;
  • renamed Clause 9 and added subclause headings;
  • newly added a new Clause 9.1.2 for “When a sum of PAH is requested”;
  • changed the limit of quantification in Clause 9.2;
  • revised Clause 10 for test report contents;
  • newly added an informative Annex A.


[1]  ISO 16190:2021

Next Steps

Site Selector