Toxic textiles to be investigated

Smart Textiles is currently initiating a project that will conduct an investigation into substances in textiles that are dangerous to health and the environment. One part of the project will focus on understanding which chemicals exist in textiles and why they are there, but the primary focus will be on making it easier to phase out the use of toxic substances in the future.


The project, entitled ‘Nontoxtex’, is a collaboration between Smart Textiles and the municipalities of the Borås region. The idea is to determine which toxic substances our most commonly used textile materials contain.

– There are lots of chemicals in textiles, and most of us have no idea of what they are and how they came to be there. Conducting an investigation and making the results understandable is an important part of the project, Mats Johansson, Smart Textiles researcher, says.

The objective is for, once the project has been completed, it to be easier to report the existence of substances that are dangerous to health and the environment, so as to facilitate phasing out their use, primarily in hospital environments and those in which children spend time.

The analysis of chemicals in textiles can be done in labs today. As part of the Nontoxtex project, Mats Johansson directs the development of handheld instruments that can make it possible to control material contents in an easy way.

– The development of this type of instrument is of interest to many different groups, such as importers, exporters, suppliers and consumers, Mats Johansson says.

The project will be concluded by the end of 2017.