EU Commission restricts Chrome VI

22 April 2014

Photo: Rainer Sturm/

BRUSSELS. Unfortunately leather goods are still frequently contaminated with high concentrations of Chromium VI that is considered as very allergenic and carcinogenic. From 1. May 2015 the allowed limit of Chromium VI in leather goods or articles that contain leather parts is limited to 3mg/kg (based on the dry weight), provided that the goods can come in contact with the skin. This Regulation issued by the European Commission at the end of march, amends Annev XVII of REACH Regulationin (EG) Nr 1907/2006.

In the future companies will only allowed to produce, import or place on the market products that chromium VI concentration lies under this legal limit. Chromium VI is never an integral part of a dyestuff or another chemical, but an undesirable by-product generated during leather dyeing and tanning processes. The occurance of Chromium VI-compounds is often the result of an improper handling of the leather and can be avoided. 

Even in small concentrations, Chromium VI can cause allergic skin irritations or eczemas.

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