What Is the OEKO-TEX Standard and Why Is It Important?

What Is the OEKO-TEX Standard and Why Is It Important?

What Is the OEKO-TEX Standard and Why Is It Important?

In the early 1990s, people started putting more care and consideration into what they put into or onto their bodies. Many fabrics that once contained harmful chemicals started phasing out from store shelves and becoming less prevalent on the market. It became the norm to see the OEKO-TEX STANDARD 100 on several products, but what is the OEKO-TEX standard, and why is it important? PrimePick is here to explain the origins and why you should look for this seal whenever possible.

What Is the OEKO-TEX Standard?

OEKO-TEX is an association from Switzerland that launched itself with one primary goal: to help protect people and the environment from dangerous chemicals. Their most common standard, Standard 100, gets its name from the over 100 chemicals they check for before approving a product.

Essentially, buying a product with the OEKO-TEX Standard 100 approval on it means that you can rest easy knowing that this product is safe and free of potentially harmful materials or chemicals. Apart from checking the fabric, OEKO-TEX examines every part of a product, including zippers, buttons, and threads used to create seams.

What Do They Test For?

Now that you know what the OEKO-TEX standard is, you may be wondering why it’s important. OEKO-TEX primarily checks material fabrics that come into direct contact with the skin. Many of those chemicals are common allergens or skin irritants, so it helps to know what your products are free from.

A handful of products that OEKO-TEX tests for include lead, banned dyes, cadmium, nickel, formaldehyde, arsenic, and many common pesticides. While the 100 in Standard 100 originally referred to the number of products that they tested, OEKO-TEX regularly updates its standards and currently looks for over 300 possible chemicals.

What Are the Product Categories?

Because different products serve different functions, OEKO-TEX separates them into categories with their own safety thresholds. Here are a few of the most common examples:

Class 1

Class 1 is primarily for baby or infant products and comes with a higher level of scrutiny due to the sensitive nature of a baby’s skin. On top of chemical checks, OEKO-TEX also ensures the products are resistant to saliva and color bleeding.

Class 2

Class 2 is probably the largest and most common class, as it includes fabrics that typically make direct contact with the skin. Items such as t-shirts, sheets, and towels all fall into this category.

Class 3

Class 3 items typically have limited to no contact with skin and may include objects like jackets or belts. Certain hats may also fall under this category.

Class 4

This final class is for fabric and other materials that may not go on a person but still have regular exposure to people. Objects like tablecloths, curtains, and furniture upholstery can gain the OEKO-TEX Standard through a Class 4 inspection.

PrimePick USA is a leading name in heat transfer vinyl companies, and we have a variety of objects for sale that are fully compatible with OEKO-TEX standards of approval. We have what you need if you’re looking for hats, t-shirts, and other objects that are free from chemicals or other potential irritants. Please feel free to contact us anytime for any additional details or to speak with a member of our team.

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