Maximising Chemical Uptake in Manufacturing of Leather, Textile and Synthetic Materials to Reduce Environmental Pollution

Published 22nd June 2018

Environmental pollution through poor chemical management is a hot topic in the manufacturing sector, in particular for the leathergoods, footwear and apparel industries. NGOs have made environmental pollution of waterways through untreated or contaminated effluent from factories, a feature of targeted campaigns aimed at the consumers of brands and retailers.

A key reason for contaminated effluent or discharge from factories is inefficient uptake of chemicals into the processed material itself during the manufacturing process, leaving the wastewater with a higher concentration of unfixed chemicals. Environmental pollution can therefore be caused if effluent is not treated before being discharged from factories.


Maximising Chemical Uptake in Materials

The process of maximising chemical uptake in materials has numerous benefits for the factory in addition to preventing environmental pollution:

  • Increases operational efficiency
  • Reduces production costs
  • Reduces the number of production processes (in some cases)
  • Minimises effluent loadings
  • Reduces treatment costs

BLC have a number of practical solutions to assess the uptake of chemicals in leather processing and can provide on-site implementation support:


Chemical Management Through MRSL Verification with Chem-MAP®

When considering effluent loadings, it is also important to ensure that the most appropriate verified chemistries are used in process recipes.

Chem-MAP®, an MRSL verification system developed by BLC and Vert-Tex, and approved by ZDHC is aimed at chemical companies, materials manufacturers and brands and retailers in the footwear and apparel supply chain. By verifying the chemical formulations used in the manufacture of raw materials, it is possible to eliminate hazardous chemistry from the production line and the supply chain.

Chem-MAP® starts this verification process with chemical companies through the c-MAP Programme, by testing chemical formulations for compliance to the ZDHC MRSL through MRSL testing (which is available to both chemical companies and manufacturers). Approved formulations are then listed on the ZDHC Gateway and chemical companies who complete the c-MAP Programme can achieve ZDHC Conformance Level 3.

Chem-MAP® then engages manufacturers through the m-MAP Programme, which provides them with chemical management audits and staff training on the use of chemicals in the manufacturing process, including environmental risks from untreated effluent and the use of ZDHC approved chemistry. Manufacturers who compete the m-MAP Programme to the required standard will be awarded the Chem-MAP® Approved Manufacturer (CAM) status. Staff who successfully complete all training modules will be awarded the Chem-MAP® Approved Technician (CAT) status.

Brands and retailers can participate in the b-MAP Programme which is designed as a chemical management support package for compliance with ZDHC objectives and to develop robust chemical management systems.


BLC Chemical and Material Consulting Services

Developing chemical management systems within the leather, textile and synthetic materials supply chain reduce chemical risk as well as maximise operational efficiency. BLC provide:

  • Chemical management audits (including Chromium VI)
  • LWG environmental audits
  • Identification of contaminants and additives
  • Technical process audits

View the full range of chemical and material consulting services.


BLC Chemical Testing Services for Compliance

Ultimately, the final check of compliance will be done through chemical, material and wastewater testing. BLC offers a full suite of chemical tests, including:

View all chemical testing and compliance services.


Start Your Journey to Responsible Chemical Management Today

BLC can help your business maximise chemical uptake in raw material manufacture, develop chemical management through Chem-MAP® and carry out chemical testing for compliance.

Contact BLC to start building and developing chemical management systems and reducing chemical risk in your supply chain by emailing, calling +44 (0) 1604 679 999 or completing the contact form at the bottom of this web page.

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Please note: Eurofins | BLC is a commercial business-to-business organisation. We do not provide free advice or testing for members of the public or for the medical or biological sectors. For individual concerns about products, please contact the manufacturer. Please note, Eurofins | BLC can retain all personal data and information submitted in this contact form for business to business marketing purposes, in accordance with GDPR and PECR.

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