E-fact 30: Occupational safety and health in the textiles sector

EU & international information
EU
English
2008

Description

The textiles industry employs more than 2 million people in Europe, the majority of whom are women. Significant hazards include manual handling, using machinery, being struck by an object, contact with chemical agents, noise, and slips and trips. The resulting health problems include musculoskeletal disorders, hearing damage and occupational asthma and respiratory irritation. This e-fact outlines the hazards and risks and the general approach to managing occupational safety and health in this sector.

Other data

Sector / Industry covered: 
Manufacture of textiles
Provider: 
European Agency for Safety and Health at Work
Tasks covered: 
Dyeing or Tanning
Handling Chemicals
Manufacturing
Printing or Photography
Processing Materials
Biological hazard: 
Microbiological hazards (Microorganism)
Biochemical hazards
Viruses
Bacteria
Hazard - physical state: 
Aerosols
Dusts
Fibres
Liquids
Vapours
Hazard - health effects: 
Allergens
Skin sensitisers
Carcinogens
Reprotoxic substances
Neurotoxic substances
Irritants
Exposure route: 
Dermal contact
Ingestion
Inhalation
Skin absorption
Substance Description: 

 

Many different groups of chemical substances are used in the textiles sector, including dyes, solvents, optical brighteners, crease-resistance agents, flame retardants, heavy metals, pesticides, and antimicrobic agents. They are used in dyeing, printing, finishing, bleaching, washing, dry cleaning, weaving slashing/sizing, and spinning.

 

Respiratory and skin sensitisers can be found in the textiles industry, for example textiles fibres, reactive dyes, synthetic fibres, and formaldehyde. The textile industry has been evaluated as a sector with an increased carcinogenic risk (organic dust).

CAS Number: 
50-00-0
EC number: 
200-001-8
Prevention measures: 
Level 1. Elimination of hazards
Level 1. Substitution
Level 2. Reducing / minimising the risk by organisational measures, e.g. reducing the number of workers exposed
Training / guidance
Purpose of the material: 
Awareness raising
General information
Guidance
Target group: 
Employers
OSH consultant
Safety officers
Workers

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