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On 15 May 2019, the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) published a new testing standard EN 16711-3:20191 determining the rate of lead release from all materials of textile articles. The Members of the CEN have to adopt the new standard and publish their own national version no later than 20 November 2019.
Regulation (EU) No 2015/6282 was published in 2016. This regulation amended REACH Annex XVII lead restriction by expanding the product scope to consumer products. This requirement applies to articles that are supplied to the general public, and which can be placed in the mouth by children. The total lead content in the article or part of the article should not exceed 0.05% by weight (expressed as metal). This limit does not apply if the rate of lead release does not exceed 0.05 μg/cm2/hour (equivalent to 0.05 μg/g/h).
This new standard describes a testing procedure to determine the rate of lead release from all materials of textile articles. The coated articles (except coated textiles) should be treated by the abrasion test EN 12472 before the lead release testing. This is to ensure that the release rate is not exceeded for a period of at least two years of normal or reasonably foreseeable conditions of use of the article, and such articles/materials. The sampling and the surface area calculation of this standard follow the instructions for the determination of nickel release in EN 1811, but the artificial saliva solution is used and the test period is set to 1 hour.