Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) MRSL

  • Overview
  • Benefits of ZDHC
  • Why Work With NSF?
  • Review Process

The Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) Programme takes a holistic approach to tackling the issue of hazardous chemicals in the global textile, leather and footwear supply chain.

One way of working toward the goal of eliminating the use of priority chemicals is by focusing on a Manufacturing Restricted Substances List (MRSL). The ZDHC MRSL provides a clear list of priority chemicals and specifies the maximum concentration limit of each substance in commercial chemical formulations.

NSF is approved by ZDHC to work with chemical suppliers to indicate Level 1 conformance of their products/inventories to the ZDHC MRSL on the ZDHC Gateway - Chemical Module.

NSF performs a third-party toxicological review to screen a product’s chemical formulations.

Benefits of ZDHC

  • By using chemical formulations that are in conformance to ZDHC MRSL limits, material suppliers and their customers can be assured that banned chemical substances are not intentionally used during production.
  • The ZDHC MRSL provides brands and suppliers with a harmonized approach to managing chemicals during the processing of raw materials within the apparel and footwear supply chain.
  • Third-party verification of conformance to the ZDHC MRSL allows manufacturers to demonstrate they have evaluated for, reduced or removed priority hazardous substances from their manufacturing process to meet the ZDHC MSRL criteria.
  • There are seven ZDHC Accepted Certification Standards, including ToxFMD®, that allow companies to indicate Level 1 conformance.
  • You can demonstrate compliance with supplier demands without needing to divulge proprietary information.

Why Work With NSF?

NSF International has provided toxicology and chemical risk assessment services to evaluate ingredients, materials and products against NSF/ANSI standards, as well as to U.S. and international regulations, for nearly 30 years. Our experts provide:

  • The experience of over 100,000 product evaluations
  • Expertise in toxicology, regulatory compliance, chemistry, biochemistry, environmental chemistry, microbiology, industrial hygiene and engineering
  • Third-party testing to support over 80 NSF/ANSI certification programs, including EPA Safer Choice, CleanGredients®, Green Screen® and ToxFMD®

Review Process

NSF’s Level 1 ZDHC compliance assessment follows these four steps:

  1. As a prerequisite to Level 1, the chemical company must register with the ZDHC Gateway – Chemical Module and upload a copy of the chemical formulation SDS. (Level 0 Conformance is a prerequisite).
  2. Your company submits an application, including full disclosure of all intentionally added ingredients (no cutoff threshold level), any residuals present at or above 0.01 percent of the formulation, and SDSs.
  3. NSF obtains full disclosure from suppliers of chemical-level information, and any other required information.
  4. NSF assesses formulations against the ZDHC Manufacturing Restricted Substances List (MRSL), Group B, version 1.1:
    • Acceptable product formulations receive a statement of conformance.
    • Non-acceptable formulations receive a list of the chemicals that do not meet the criteria of the ZDHC MRSL conformance process so the client can address chemicals of concern and resubmit.

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