Textile Insight

Fall 2023

Issue link: https://viewer.e-digitaledition.com/i/1510018

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Page 44 of 67

That's not all. According to Swiss multinational firm General Society of Surveillance (SGS), BPA is suspected of contributing to developmental issues, serious eye damage, respiratory irritation, skin allergies and reproductive harm. And a 2023 study by scientists at Rowan University and Rutgers University links BPA to the rising number of children being diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In a National Health and Nutrition Examination during 2003 – 2004, scientists at the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) found BPA in the urine of nearly all of the people tested, indicating widespread exposure to BPA in the US population. Why is BPA in our textiles? While BPA has long been part of the STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX ® criteria catalogue, it has not typically been viewed as high risk in textiles. But with the growing use of mixed plastic waste and textile waste to create recycled polyester fibers, BPA is becoming more pervasive in our clothing, particularly in polyester/spandex athletic and outdoor wear. The Hohenstein Institute calls out the potential for dermal absorption and ingestion via hand-to-mouth when wearing or touching textiles containing BPA. The AFIRM Restricted Substances List (RSL) added Bisphenols to its testing matrix for synthetic fibers and blends, polyurethanes, and PVCs in 2022. (AFIRM is the Apparel and Footwear International RSL Management Working Group, established in 2004.) The Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) also bans the use of BPA in the global textile supply chain. The RSLs of AFIRM, bluesign ® , and California Prop-65 have set a limit for BPA in textiles at 1 ppm. Nan Ya Plastics' SAYA brand moves first The 2025 Recycled Polyester Challenge, launched in 2021 by Textile Exchange and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change's Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action, calls on brands and suppliers to commit to increasing their use of rPET in textiles from14% to 45% by 2025. Many of the signatories are among the industry's best-known athletic and outdoor brands. But will the additional tonnage of recycled fibers be free of harmful Bisphenols? Taiwan's Nan Ya Plastics Corporation's SAYA brand believes that rPET fiber can and should meet international RSL standards for BPA content. To that end, SAYA's BPA-Clear is tested and certified to contain under 1 ppm of BPA. This is a measure that can be specified to any of SAYA's current recycled polyester products, and is available from Nan Ya's facilities worldwide, including its operations in Taiwan, Vietnam and South Carolina. The MOQ starts at about 5 tonnes (metric tons). "Part of what we want to do really is to raise awareness of the textile industry about this elephant lurking in the room," says Mike Shih, marketing director at SAYA. "We are the first mover, and I am quite sure other fiber manufacturers will soon follow suit. We want to be ready and make sure the industry is ready when consumer groups come after this with more attention." SAYA BPA-Clear, a safe Bisphenol A solution by Nan Ya Plastics SAYA's recycled polyester fibers set the bar in the industry as having the highest standards of stability, dyeing consistency, strength, and intrinsic viscosity, guaranteeing performance on par with virgin equivalents. This is thanks to SAYA's 5-stage filtration and 2-stage purification of inputs. Shih explains, "The removal of BPA requires two additional processes: pre-treatment of the flake sources, and a unique filtration during the polymerization process to ensure the BPA content is under 1 ppm." The content of BPA analogues, such as BPS, BPF, BPAF, and BPB in SAYA's BPA-Clear product is also under 1 ppm. Every batch of SAYA's BPA-Clear line is sent to a third-party institution for testing to ensure the fairness and reliability of the result. "This year we've sent our product to both SGS and Intertek for inspection, and the results were all up to standard, below 1 ppm," Shih continues. "We are happy to provide third-party certification for every order." Committed to innovating renewal technologies, SAYA is the world's largest PET plastic recycler for performance fibers, processing over 8 billion post-consumer bottles into functional polyester fibers annually. n Can you tell which plastics are PETs and which are polycarboates which contain BPA in this mixed plastic waste? Saya BPA-Clear fibers are prepared with additional pre-treatment and filtration processes. Fall 2023 ~ Textile Insight • 45

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