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MUMBAI – The first results of a new screening tool for impurities found in bulk commodity chemicals used during textile wet processing has found that heavy metals, phthalates and halogenated solvents are the primary contaminants of these widely used substances.

The screening tool was developed by US software provider, Scivera, and Mumbai-based analytical laboratory testing lab, NimkarTek that in collaboration with Levi Strauss carried out pilot trials on over 330 different samples over the past year from 55 different textile and apparel factories.

Although the safety of specialty textile dyes, pigments and auxiliaries has been under the microscope for years, bulk commodity chemicals that are widely used in the textile wet processing sector have been overlooked as a potential source of wastewater pollution.

These chemicals are traded on the open market by dealers based on price, and often repackaged under different trade names. With price being directly related to the purity of the product these chemicals are often contaminated by-products of other industries. 

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