The leather industry is also affected by legislation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH). REACH lays down a number of rules aimed at ensuring that the handling of chemicals at the industrial level is not carried out in a way that poses risks to human health or the environment. It also foresees alternative test methods and promotes the free circulation of substances in the EU market, as well as competitiveness and innovation among companies. The REACH Regulation applies to leather and leather products inasmuch as it addresses concerns such as azo dyes. Moreover, a number of separate instruments provide for marketing and use restrictions of certain dangerous substances and preparations, which may have implications for the leather industry.
In this respect, there are specific restrictions on the marketing and use of certain dangerous substances and preparations (nonylphenol, nonylphenol ethoxylate and cement) and a prohibition on dimethylfumarate (DMF), a chemical that is usually placed in sachets contained in the packaging of products in order to prevent deterioration of the fabric or leather when it is stored in a humid climate. When it evaporates, it impregnates the furniture or footwear, and possibly penetrates into the consumer’s skin, causing health damage.
- Check the Botswana Certification Bodies at BOBS