Azo Dyes

AZO Dyes
Regulating and Testing for Azo Dyes

Azo dyes are synthetic dyes with which manufacturers treat certain textile and leather products to give them more vibrant colors. However, some types of these dyes degrade and produce aromatic amines, which have proven to be carcinogenic.

Multiple governing bodies, such as the European Union (EU) and the State of California, have created restrictions on the inclusion of Azo dyes in consumer products, specifically textiles and leathers that come into prolonged contact with the skin. The legal limit for each harmful amine is 10 parts per million (ppm). This means that, in order to remain compliant, harmful Azo dyes must make up less than 0.003% of the mass of each leather and textile component included in a regulated product.

To avoid running afoul of the various consumer safety laws and industry regulations that restrict the use of Azo dyes in consumer products, manufacturers send samples of their design materials to testing labs like Applied Technical Services for analysis. We test client samples for these substances using a method called Gas Chromatography / Mass Spectroscopy (GC/MS).

About the Method

GC/MS is a destructive method of testing that yields information on the chemical composition of the analyte. ATS’ chemical analysis lab uses this method to isolate, identify, and measure compounds of interest if present in sample materials. ATS provides results at the parts-per-billion (ppb) level when performing this test — a far greater sensitivity than required by regulations on Azo dyes. We can achieve these low detection limits because of the sensitivity of ATS’ analytical equipment and our chemists’ experience in regularly performing the method to relevant standards.

Full List of Restricted Substances
The table below reflects the full list of Azo Dyes restricted by either the EU under REACH, or the California Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under Proposition 65, or both:
No. CASS No. Chemical Name
1
92-67-1
4-Aminodiphenyl
2
92-87-5
Benzidine
3
95-69-2
4-Chloro-o-toluidine
4
91-59-8
2-Naphthylamine
5
97-56-3
o-Aminoazotoluene
6
99-55-8
2-Amino-4-nitrotoluene
7
106-47-8
p-Chloroaniline
8
615-05-4
2,4-Diaminoanisole
9
101-77-9
4,4'-diaminodiphenylmethance
10
91-94-1
3,3'-Dichlorobenzidine
11
119-90-4
3,3'-Dimethoxybenzidine
12
119-93-7
3,3'-Dimethylbenzidine
13
838-88-0
3,3'-Dimethyl-4,4'-diaminodiphenylmethane
14
120-71-8
p-Cresidine
15
101-14-4
4,4'-methylene-bis-(2-Chloroaniline)
16
101-80-4
4,4'-Oxydianiline
17
139-65-1
4,4'-Thiodianiline
18
95-53-4
o-Toluidine
19
95-80-7
2,4-Toluenediamine
20
137-17-7
2,4,5-Trimethylaniline
21
60-09-3
p-Phenylazoaniline
22
90-04-0
o-Anisidine
23
96-28-1
2,4-Xylidine
24
87-62-7
2,6-Xylidine
25
106-49-0
p-Toluidine
26
108-44-1
m-Toluidine

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