Consumer FAQs

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a large group of synthetic organofluoride chemicals, including PFOA and PFOS. PFAS have been used for years in many different industries for their water-, oil- and dirt-repellent properties, for example in rain jackets, firefighter gear or sports-bras. 

Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) is a specific PFAS compound used as an industrial surface-active agent processes, such as textile and leather dyeing, and as a raw material in different production processes.  

PFOS is a fluorosurfactant and was previously the key ingredient in various fabric protection products. 

PFOA have been restricted in the EU since 2020, PFOS since 2009, and cannot be used anymore. 

We issued a general ban on PFAS in textiles, leather, apparel and footwear. This applies to product class 1 as of April 2023. The transition phase for the product classes ends in 2024.

All PFAS chemicals contain organic fluorine which can be detected (extracted) via lab tests. This is why we introduced a limit value for extractable organic fluorine. At OEKO-TEX®, our goal is to prevent the intentional use of PFAS.  
The organic fluorine limit value is tested for all types of OEKO-TEX® certificates and is compliant with the latest international regulations.

PFAS are persistent in the environment due to their low biodegradability. This can lead to accumulation of PFAS along the food chain and in drinking water, which is where PFAS can directly affect human health.  

PFAS have been linked to adverse effect on fauna, flora and human life such as affecting hormonal systems, causing defects and cancer, amongst others. A large number of PFAS are already regulated by many countries including the EU, the USA and Canada.

PFAS are measured in two different ways at OEKO-TEX®.  
First, all legally restricted PFAS are measured separately, to make sure that OEKO-TEX® certified products are compliant with the EU/USA laws.  

Then, the sum of extractable organic fluorine is measured. 
This includes fluorine from PFAS and also fluorine from other organic molecules such as fluorine-based dyes, which are not considered a threat to human health or the environment. The goal of this limit value is not to forbid the use of all fluorines, but rather to ban the intentional use of PFAS.

OEKO-TEX® does not sell or manufacture products. We test and certify textile and leather products.

OEKO-TEX® does not sell or manufacture products. We test and certify textile and leather products. If you have complaints about your product, please contact the seller or brand directly.

With our Label Check you can check the validity of the certification. Simply enter the label number into the appropriate box.

Please note that case-sensitive characters are used. Enter the label number with special characters and blank spaces. Do not include the name of the testing institute. If no result is found in spite of the entry being correct, please contact us.

The “under review” status means that the certificate is in the renewal process and samples will be reviewed and tested for the next one-year term. 

OEKO-TEX® certificates are valid for one year. Articles and materials covered by the certificate are then tested again in one of our independent partner laboratories under consideration of the latest criteria catalogue. 

If the shop advertised the product as being certified, either the packaging or the product itself needs to feature the label with the unique product ID. If this is not the case please contact us with the link to the product.

The limit values of the OEKO-TEX® STANDARD 100 and OEKO-TEX® LEATHER STANDARD are compliant with the relevant entries of appendix XVII and appendix XIV of the Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH)

All substances with textile and leather relevance from European Chemical Agency’s candidate list of substances of very high concern (SVHC) are covered by the STANDARD 100 and OEKO-TEX® LEATHER STANDARD and are thus ensuring that no communication duties are necessary along the supply chain regarding the SVHC substances. However, for some rare examples where SVHC substances are present and cannot be avoided due to technical limitations this is clearly stated in the scope of the certificate and is thus supporting the mandatory communication. 

Compliance is also insured with the regulation (EU) 2019/1021 of the European parliament and of the council of 20 June 2019 on persistent organic pollutants (POPs regulation)

The OEKO-TEX® STANDARD 100 has comparable product classes and is compliant with all limit values from the GB 18401. However, the GB 18401 contains also labelling requirements, which are not part of the OEKO-TEX® STANDARD 100 criteria catalogue. 

Moreover, all OEKO-TEX® partner textile laboratories are CPSC (Consumer Product and Safety Commission of the United States) accredited and therefore a laboratory report for OEKO-TEX® STANDARD 100 product class 1 articles serves as evidence of compliance regarding the total lead content (CPSIA; with the exception of accessories made from glass) in children's products. 

Lastly, the OEKO-TEX® team is regularly monitoring the AFIRM (Apparel and Footwear International RSL (Restricted substance list) Management Group), the ZDHC (Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals) list, as well as other relevant legal regulations and stakeholder MRSL/RSL lists. 

OEKO-TEX® ORGANIC COTTON is the newest certification verifying textile articles from farm to product.  Products bearing this label have been manufactured without the use of GMOs and tested for pesticides and other harmful substances. ORGANIC COTTON supports sustainability, soil health and regenerative farming.  

The OEKO-TEX® ORGANIC COTTON certification starts at the farm, where the cotton is certified as organic according to one of the IFOAM (International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements) family of standards. The organic cotton is then tracked throughout the supply chain via a OEKO-TEX® chain-of-custody until the ready-made textile article.  
Additionally, by testing for GMO which are widely used in conventional agriculture and testing for pesticides we ensure that the cotton coming from the farm is organic.  

Choose OEKO-TEX® ORGANIC COTTON for a caring approach to our environment and your health. ORGANIC COTTON not only certifies cotton itself but also tests the products for  harmful substances. The full scope of the OEKO-TEX® STANDARD 100 with additional pesticides is covered. For more information about the covered chemicals please have a look at our criteria catalogue