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Restricted Substances List (RSL) Testing

Ensure that your products comply with the regulations on the safe use of chemicals

Control the use of substances in your own processes and your supply chain

Manufacturing consumer products such as textiles, footwear, electrical goods and toys is a complicated process involving a wide range of chemicals and materials. As different regions have many different laws and regulations affecting each product, ensuring compliance can be a challenge. In addition, many new prohibitions and changes to existing prohibitions are expected in the future, such as changes in EN 71, RoHS and continuous updates in REACH. Manufacturers and retailers need to quickly establish the applicability of these prohibitions to their products in order to meet legal requirements.

Restricted Substances Lists (RSL) testing helps manufacturers and retailers ensure their products comply with the fast-changing regulations and standards that govern which kind of chemicals and substances can be used in products. RSL testing involves putting a product through a range of laboratory tests to ascertain which substances are used in the product, as well as reviewing the manufacturer’s product notes. A report and certification can then be produced to demonstrate that the product is compliant. It enables you to control the use of these substances in your own processes, as well as those of suppliers and retailers across your supply chain. Most major brands now insist that their stakeholders and partners conform to RSL guidelines.

Examples of Restricted Chemicals and Substances

  • Cadmium, mercury, lead and hexavalent chromium in materials like paper, cardboard, glass, plastic, metal and wood
  • Print and paint used as a coating in materials like textile, leather, metal, toys, etc.
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in plasticised and rubber components of consumer products
  • Azo dyes and heavy metals for enhancing fabric colour
  • Formaldehyde for wrinkle-free garments
  • Migration of heavy elements, such as Barium, in toys

Sources of Restricted Substances

  • Heavy metals from dyes, pigments, plastics and certain process inputs such as mercury from caustic used for scouring and mercerisation
  • Phthalates from PVC and non-PVC materials, plastisol printing, transfer prints and plastics used as a softening agent of polymers
  • Pesticides used in cotton cultivation
  • Chlorophenols used during sizing and printing as a preservative for starch and leather
  • Certain Azo dyes – those that release carcinogenic arylamines
  • Formation of chromium (VI) during the leather tanning process

Stay up to date with RSL and toxic substance lists

TÜV SÜD assists manufacturers and retailers to understand the varying international regulations on hazardous substance use in different markets. We help you to meet regulatory requirements to comply with legislation such as RoHS and REACH in the EU, as well as US state law requirements such as California Proposition 65.

We are well-equipped with laboratory facilities to offer testing solutions that help to comply with legislation. We keep you updated on forthcoming changes to RSL guidelines and how these changes will affect your products.

TÜV SÜD’s range of safety marks for chemical content is backed by our reputation as an independent solutions provider and helps demonstrate your commitment to safety. Our dedicated experts are highly qualified in various consumer product items, providing advice that goes from product inception through risk analysis to the finished product.

Our experts offer extensive knowledge of the relevant market regulations in standards, testing and conformity requirements so that your product remains in line with the latest regulatory changes.

Our services include:

  • Updating the Restricted Substances List (RSL) in relation to your products
  • Alerting you to hazardous substances in your products
  • Auditing your supply chain to discover the source of a restricted substance
  • Ensure you are compliant with the RoHS substance list




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