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SAN FRANCISCO – Levi Strauss has teamed up with two service providers to develop a new screening tool that identifies whether hazardous contaminants are present in bulk commodity chemicals routinely that are used in wet processing and often end up in wastewater.

Produced in bulk and bought on the open market, commodity chemicals account for an estimated 80 per cent of process chemicals by volume used in the apparel supply chain.

A study over a year ago showed how commodity textile chemicals bought from other industries such as sodium chloride (salt), acetic acid, sodium hydroxide, and citric acid, etc can come laced with restricted substances such as APEOs, phthalates, chlorobenzene and toluene.

What’s more, unlike dyestuffs and speciality chemicals, these hidden contaminants are routinely washed off fabrics and end up in textile wastewater.

To combat this, a new ‘Safer Commodity Screening’ has been developed by US software provider, Scivera, and Mumbai-based analytical laboratory chemistry lab, NimkarTek that have carried out pilot trials with Levi Strauss over the past year.

“The ‘Safer Commodity Screening’ will make a significant contribution towards safer, more transparent chemical supply chains, as every commodity batch can have a different set of contaminants,” Ullhas Nimkar from Nimkartech told Ecotextile News in a phone interview prior to today’s launch.

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