How It’s Tested: Episode 3 – OEKO-TEX® 100 (What is it and why should you care?)

OEKO-TEX® 100 is the preeminent standard for determining if fabrics and textiles contain unsafe chemicals, and passing OEKO-TEX 100 delivers assurance to wearers that any chemicals that are present in the clothing they’re wearing are well within the established safe thresholds. Rest assured, all fabric used to manufacture your Tyndale clothing is certified safe and has been tested to be well below OEKO-TEX 100 guidelines.

Why Testing for Harmful Substances is Important

Chemicals are necessary for textile production, including AR / FR clothing, but rest assured that chemicals aren’t present at a level that’s harmful to wearers. This is a particularly hot topic right now with AR / FR masks – how can you be sure the fabric you put over your mouth and nose doesn’t contain harsh chemicals?

The OEKO-TEX® 100 determines the level of chemicals present in textiles and compares them to the safe concentrations. The test uses scientifically established safety thresholds. Just because a chemical is present does not mean it’s in a concentration considered harmful to a wearer.

Formaldehyde is the most common chemical found when testing AR / FR clothing. The safe level for formaldehyde is at or below 75 parts per million (PPM) – a fabric within less than 75 PPM passes the OEKO-TEX® 100 test.

In actuality, 75 parts per million is actually extremely low – four to five times lower than the threshold that could cause an allergic reaction. Watch VP of Technical, Scott Margolin, as he provides some context, along with an overview of the standard:

OEKO-TEX® keeps a criteria catalog of all tests and updates their findings at least once per year to review, expand with new scientific knowledge, or statutory requirements.

How It’s Tested is our ongoing series exploring safety standards and test methods for AR / FR garments and PPE. Whether you are a seasoned professional or just starting out, follow along with this series to make sure you are up to date on the latest information. If you’ve missed it, our last episode can be found here. Stay tuned for much more content and helpful resources!

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