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Formaldehyde levels are not legally regulated in the UK but they are often restricted by eco-labels and retailers/brands.

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Formaldehyde is commonly used in several textile production processes, for example after treatment of substantive dyeing, hardening of casein fibres, as a wool protection agent, anti mould and above all as a cross linking agent in resin finishing. Countries such as Austria, Finland, Germany, Norway, Netherlands and Japan do have national legislation restricting the presence of formaldehyde in textile products.


The Analytical Laboratory is UKAS accredited to carry out Formaldehyde in our onsite fully equipped state of the art laboratory here in Birmingham. The turnaround time for this service is within 4 working days.

 Where is Formaldehyde used?

Formaldehyde is a colourless, pungent smelling gas that is found very often in nature and is also used very often in industry. Fabrics are treated with formaldehyde resins to give them all sorts of easy care properties such as:

  • Permanent press / durable press
  • Anti-cling, anti-static, anti-wrinkle, and anti-shrink (especially shrink proof wool)
  • Waterproofing and stain resistance (especially for suede and chamois)
  • Perspiration proof
  • Moth proof
  • Mildew resistance
  • Colour-fastness
  • A tanning agent for leather

formaldehyde wrinkle free

What impact does Formaldehyde have on health?

International studies have revealed that exposure of the skin to textiles, with a high level of formaldehyde, effects the human health: formaldehyde causes skin allergies, in some cases, allergic contact dermatitis can be attributed to clothing treated with textile finish resins (TFRs), also named durable press resins or permanent press clothing resins. Under normal and foreseeable use, the majority of these resins can release formaldehyde, which has been suspected as carcinogenic to humans.

Formaldehyde testing at The Analytical Laboratory 

The Analytical Laboratory offers UKAS accredited Formaldehyde release testing to the EN ISO 14184 standard when testing textiles and also to EN ISO 17226 to check the formaldehyde release rate in leather items. 

The Turnaround Time for Formaldehyde testing is just 4 working days.

product safety testing

To download a Chemical testing application form click here. 

For more information on Formaldehyde testing or any of our other testing services contact Vikki Bradshaw on +44 (0)121 262 1017 or email analytical lab logo



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