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MIDWOR-LIFE - Mitigation of environmental impact caused by DWOR textile finishing chemicals studying their non-toxic alternatives

LIFE14 ENV/ES/000670


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Contact details:

Contact person: Ariadna Detrell
Tel: 34608864754
Email: adetrell@textils.cat



Project description:

Background

DWOR (Durable Water and Oil Repellents) are textile-finishing products made of long chain fluorocarbon polymers. They repel water, oil and dirt from fabrics. These chemicals are persistent and bioaccumulative. Many perfluorochemicals are already classified as dangerous to human health and the environment. For example, perfluorooctane sulfonates (PFOS) are listed under Annex B of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, and perfluoroalkyl carboxylic acids (PFCA) and perfluorooctanoic acids (PFOA) are included in the Candidate List of Substances of Very High Concern under the European Union's REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) Regulation.

These products have long been used in the textile industry, but since 2000, efforts to replace them have been made. Alternative products have been proposed by different chemicals companies, but these are almost all perfluorocarbon-based (fluorocarbons polymers with shorter chain length) and their toxicity and environmental impact is still unknown. Toxic and persistent perfluorochemicals are widely used, and their substitution with safer alternatives is of great importance.


Objectives

The main objective of MIDWOR-LIFE is to mitigate the environmental/health and safety impacts of current and future Durable Water and Oil Repellents (DWOR). The project will assess the environmental impacts, toxicology and technical performance of two conventional fluorocarbon based repellents (DWOR) and seven alternatives. The information obtained from the tests (LCA, risk assessment, conformity with European standards etc.) will then be summarised and made available as a web tool. The project will also produce policy recommendations for the promotion of less toxic and more effective DWOR alternatives to fulfil the EU REACH Regulation. The demonstration at technical scale is divided into four main parts:

1) Selection of the finishing additives and textile materials - whereby repellent finishing products available on the market and their alternatives will be assessed;

2) Pre-industrial demonstration of the finishing applications - validating the technical performance of the selected finishing processes on various fabrics;

3) Industrial demonstration of the finishing applications – results obtained from the pre-industrial tests will be confirmed at industrial scale in six textile manufacturing companies. Industrial padding machines will be employed to reproduce the finishing processes carried out at laboratory scale. In these processes, at least 50 m of fabric will be impregnated and squeezed between the rolls of the machines. The fabrics will then be inserted into an industrial stenter with temperature ranges of 100 ºC to 180 ºC. The tested fabrics treated will similarly be assessed for conformity with European standards, as with the applications obtained in the laboratory; and

4) Validation on site at industrial scale of the risk assessments of the proposed applications.

Expected results: The project expects to contribute to an overall, eventual decrease in the total amounts of toxic DWOR repellent in Europe and consequently a reduction in emissions/exposure to toxic compounds derived from these chemicals. Expected specific outcomes will include:

  • Estimates produced of the environmental impacts of two conventional DWOR repellents and of seven DWOR alternatives;
  • An innovative software tool for European textile finishing/manufacturing companies to increase knowledge on perfluorochemicals and best available alternatives. This will include good practice guidelines for DWOR repellents usage, selection and disposal;
  • Contribution to European environmental policy and legislation on chemicals i.e. the proposed update to the REACH requirements to fill information gaps relating to chemical safety assessment of DWOR substances;
  • Risk assessments of two conventional DWOR repellents and of seven DWOR alternatives; and
  • A socio-economic impact assessment of the project actions locally.

The project will also seek to involve the textile industry through organisation of local and regional workshops, and through partnerships with other relevant initiatives.


Results


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Environmental issues addressed:

Themes

Industry-Production - Textiles - Clothing
Industry-Production - Chemicals
Environmental management - Life Cycle Assessment-Management


Keywords

textile industry


Target EU Legislation

  • Chemicals & Hazardous substances
  • "Regulation 1907/2006 - Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REA ...
  • "Regulation 1272/2008 - Classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures (amend ...

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable


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Beneficiaries:

Coordinator Associació Agrupació d'Empreses Innovadores Tèxtils
Type of organisation Professional organisation
Description Agrupació d'Empreses Innovadores Tèxtils (AEI TEXTIL) is a non-profit association that brings together Catalan companies and organisations related directly or indirectly to the textiles sector.
Partners CS-POINTEX(Città Studi S.p.a.), Italy CLUTEX(CLUTEX – klastr technické textilie), Czech Republic CETIM(FUNDACIÓN CENTRO TECNOLÓGICO DE INVESTIGACIÓN MULTISECTORIAL), Spain LEITAT(ACONDICIONAMIENTO TARRASESE ASOCIACION), Spain CSIC-IQAC(AGENCIA ESTATAL CONSEJO SUPERIOR DE INVESTIGACIONES CIENTIFICAS), Spain

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Project reference LIFE14 ENV/ES/000670
Duration 01-SEP-2015 to 31-AUG -2018
Total budget 931,850.00 €
EU contribution 554,608.00 €
Project location Praha(Czech Cesko) Stredni Cechy(Czech Cesko) Jihozapad(Czech Cesko) Severozapad(Czech Cesko) Severovychod(Czech Cesko) Jihovychod(Czech Cesko) Stredni Morava(Czech Cesko) Moravskoslezsko(Czech Cesko) Galicia(España) Asturias(España) Cantabria(España) País Vasco(España) Navarra(España) Rioja(España) Aragón(España) Madrid(España) Castilla-León(España) Castilla-La Mancha(España) Extremadura(España) Cataluña(España) Comunidad Valenciana(España) Baleares(España) Andalucía(España) Murcia(España) Ceuta y Melilla(España) Canarias(España) Piemonte(Italia) Valle d'Aosta(Italia) Liguria(Italia) Lombardia(Italia) Trentino-Alto Adige(Italia) Veneto(Italia) Friuli-Venezia Giulia(Italia) Emilia-Romagna(Italia) Toscana(Italia) Umbria(Italia) Marche(Italia) Lazio(Italia) Campania(Italia) Abruzzo(Italia) Molise(Italia) Puglia(Italia) Basilicata(Italia) Calabria(Italia) Sicilia(Italia) Sardegna(Italia)

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Read more:

Newsletter "MIDWOR e-newsletter 1: Working fr a more sustaina ...
Project web site Project's website
Project web site - 2 Project's blog
Project web site - 2 Project's Linkedin page

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Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version