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Consumer Products and Retail E-ssentials

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Technical guidance on Pentachlorophenol (PCP)

April, 2016 (updated as of 14 October 2016)

is pentachlorophenol and its potential health hazard?

Pentachlorophenol (PCP) is a group of polychlorinated compounds used as preservatives for wood, leather and textiles to protect against the attack of moulds, fungus and bacteria.

PCP is toxic to human and the environment, in particular to aquatic life. Acute inhalation exposure to PCP in humans may affect the cardiovascular system, blood, liver, and eyes. PCP is also suspected to be carcinogenic. When PCP-treated articles are burned, highly toxic chemicals such as dioxins and furans may be released.

It is commonly found in:

  • Textiles, leather and some wood products
  • Fungicides during cotton farming
  • Preservatives in print pastes

Table A shows PCP restriction in various countries and their limits (non-exclusive)

 Country Reference Limit
Austia  Chemicals Prohibition Ordinance  5 ppm
 Denmark  Chemical Substances and Products Act
 Germany  Chemical Prohibition Act
 The Netherlands  Commodities Act on Pentachlorophenol
 Norway  Product Regulations
 Switzerland  Chemical Risk Reduction Ordinance

Textiles & leather goods: Not used
Wood products: 5 mg/kg 

How TÜV SÜD can help?

  • Training and seminar on understanding the RSL (Restricted Substance List) and MRSL (Manufacturing Restricted Substance List)
  • Testing services on the final products and raw materials
  • Advisory on establishing and improving Chemical Management System

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