Attitudes to risk information among Swedish textile importers
Conference poster, 2008
In modern textile industry, a big amount of different chemicals are used in the production process. Most of the chemicals are used in dyeing, washing and other wet treatment methods. Many of these chemicals are classified as hazardous, either to health or to the environment.
Today, due to lower costs, most of the clothes and household linen purchased in Sweden are produced outside EU in countries like China, India and Turkey and imported to Sweden by several clothing and textile companies and wholesalers. In these countries, chemical substances that are prohibited in the EU can still be used. Lately, the presence of nonylphenol etoxylates in imported textiles has been given attention in Sweden and this has lead to an increased awareness among consumers concerning chemicals in textiles. It is therefore crucial for importing companies to be well informed of which chemicals have been used during production. It is also important for them to have control so that the producing companies fulfill their demands concerning the chemical usage. A number of the textile importers will also be obliged to register the chemical substances in the cloth according to article 7 in REACH. This makes it necessary for the importer to get information about the substances used in the production and the amount of chemicals that is left in the textile.
The aim of this study is to get a picture of how Swedish textile importers perceive the risk related chemical information they get from the producers, if they get the requested information and how they verify the reliability of the information. Therefore the textile importers have been asked what they think about the risk-related chemical information in the supply-chain. The importers opinions have been related to each other and compared with the opinions from governmental representatives.
It is essential to know how information about chemicals in the supply chain is formulated and distributed and how the receiver perceives the information. With better information, the importing companies can improve their demands on the suppliers and in the end reduce the use of hazardous chemicals in textile production.