CEN Workshop Agreement on a test method to assess the potential presence of trace chemicals in absorbent hygiene products

For the last six years there has been a recurring debate in Europe on the trace chemicals found in absorbent hygiene products (AHPs). This debate was triggered by articles on this topic published in consumer magazines which raised questions on the safety of AHPs, and led to a so-called restriction proposal for the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) to restrict the use of chemicals in absorbent hygiene products. The process concluded in 2022, and while it found that the risks could not be demonstrated, it did conclude that there is a strong need for a harmonized analytical method that delivers robust and accurate test results.

In 2018, EDANA members started working on such a method, as part of the EDANA Stewardship programme on Absorbent Hygiene Products (AHPs). At the heart of the programme lies the CODEX™, which contains a list of agreed substances, and sets the limiting values and test methods that were developed for these substances.


The first version of the method was released in 2020 and focused on baby diapers. In 2022 it was expanded to include menstrual products. In order to make this method available to stakeholders outside the industry, EDANA is striving to develop and produce a CEN Workshop Agreement (CWA). This will also provide the opportunity for other stakeholders to review and revise the method where needed.



The aim of the workshop is to publish a test method suitable for assessing the potential presence of trace chemicals in AHPs. This is required as methods that weren’t specifically devised for this purpose, may lead to unreliable results that cause further confusion and negatively impact the wider discussion.


The foreseen CEN Workshop Agreement is intended for use by manufacturers (producers) of AHPs, regulatory authorities, retailers, and other stakeholders, including NGO’s and consumer organizations.


EDANA’s Engagement

The proposer of the Workshop is EDANA, the leading trade association for nonwovens and their related industries. EDANA members manufacture over 80% of the AHPs that are currently sold in the European Union.


The kick-off meeting will take place on Wednesday, 26th April in Berlin at DIN Deutsches Institut für Normung e. V. (Am DIN-Platz, Budapester Str. 31. 10787 Berlin, Germany) from 9.00 to 15.00 CEST.


The workshop will be open to all interested parties. Comments on the draft Project Plan can be submitted via the ‘Commenting form’ (see below) until 21 March 2023. In order to register for the Workshop please fill in the registration form and send an email to the Workshop Secretary: Ms Annett Müller (annett.mueller@din.de).


Download the documents:



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