Regular random testing of chemical content in consumer products

How can a company control the material and chemical content of its products when they are manufactured in several stages outside the country? Swerea has developed a method of random testing.

The Swedish Chemicals Agency recommends regular random testing of chemical content in products imported to Sweden. The recommendation was made in conjunction with a study concerning chemical content in toys conducted in 2013. 

Swerea chemical analysis concept covers many products

Many companies manufacture their products in Asia, which often means that products undergo many production stages before reaching Sweden. There is therefore an increasing need for more structured control. Swerea has come up with a concept for regular random testing of chemical content in plastic articles and products such as textiles, shoes, toys and accessories. 

“The company sends their items to us. We recommend which analyses are to be conducted and produce a test schedule based on material content, finishing, colour, etc. Prior to analyses, the test schedule is approved by the company,” says Camilla Nilsson, analytical chemist at Swerea.

Controls induce better producer-vender collaboration

The concept has contributed to better collaboration with suppliers towards improvement in the area of chemicals. 

“We view random testing as a means of ensuring ourselves that our products do not contain any undesirable or restricted substances. The results are also valuable input that supports our suppliers in their efforts towards
improvement with respect to use of chemicals,” says Elin Larsson, Corporate Responsibility Manager at Filippa K.