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SUCCESS IN THE LAST WORKSHOP ON SUBSTITUTION OF HAZARDOUS CHEMICALS IN THE TEXTILE INDUSTRY WITH OVER 50 PARTICIPANTS

A workshop on the substitution of hazardous chemicals in the textile industry brought over 50 people together to discuss the future of flame retardants and water and oil repellents.

LIFE-FLAREX joined forces with the Interreg project DURATEX to organise a workshop in Kortrijk, Belgium, on the substitution of hazardous chemicals. The workshop was organised by project partner Centexbel. LIFE-FLAREX focussed on alternatives for flame retardants, while Duratex partners discussed the possibilities of alternative oil and water repellents.

The participants came from different sectors, many raw materials suppliers, formulators and textile companies participated, covering the whole value chain. Besides, research institutes and policy makers (e.g. European commission, DG environment) were also present.

Ms. Valentina Bertato, active at the European Commission DG Environment, gave an insight on the concerns about PFASs. Mr. Steve Hollins of ECHA (European chemical agency) presented the risk management of hazardous substances. Questions like how to interpret the early warning in REACH and CLP and how to apply substitution concepts are being touched upon.

Figure 1: Valentina Bertato, EC

Figure 2: Steve Hollins, ECHA

Figure 3: Dunja Drmac, Euratex

Dunja Drmač, sustainability officer of Euratex, the European Apparel and textile confederation, gave a lecture on the lessons learned from PFOA restriction in textiles. This approach can also be extended to flame retardants if substances are coming under scrutiny.

After these more general presentations, Ine De Vilder of Centexbel explained the LIFE-FLAREX project and presented the obtained lab results, followed by David De Smet of Centexbel presenting the Duratex project. Mr. Alain Jonas, UCLouvain, described a new development in the field of oil and water repellency.

Figure 4: LIFE-FLAREX, presented by Ine De Vilder, Centexbel

In the last part of the workshop a ‘word café session’ was organised. All participants were divided in 6 groups, having a mix of the whole value chain in each group. Each group discussed the following topics, under supervision of a moderator:

  • Alternative FR in textile applications: trends, opportunities and technical constraints
  • Alternative oil and water repellents in textile applications: trends, opportunities and technical constraints
  • Challenges and impact of legislation on FR and oil and water repellency

The wrap-up of each discussion group will be available in the minutes of the workshop, which will be available shortly.

The presentations from the workshop are available for download below

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