Azo compounds have very vivid colors, especially reds, oranges, and yellows, and are widely used as dyes in the leather industry. European Directive 2002/61/EC restricts the use of azo dyes which, on reductive cleavage of one or more azo groups, form any of the 22 listed carcinogenic aromatic amines.
Under the conditions defined in the current test procedure, a dye based on 4-amino-azobenzene would reduce to aniline and p-phenylenediamine (PPD). Neither of these two amines is on the restricted list of 22 amines. However, they are formed under the test conditions from several important leather dyes which do not fall within the scope of the proposed restrictions. This means that goods that comply with the regulations can be wrongly found to contain a restricted azo dye. This can cause disputes between the supplier and their customers.
ETAD has published information for dye manufacturers, downstream processors, retailers and regulatory control authorities to alert them to the situation. The information has helped to reduce the incidences of articles being incorrectly labeled as non-compliant.
ETAD has comprehensive experience in assessing analytical results and publishing our findings. We provide a valuable networking platform for experts, the industry, our customers and regulators to discuss issues and take action.
More details about this topic can be found in the information note issued by ETAD in cooperation with the Confederation of National Associations of Tanners and Dressers of the European Community (COTANCE).