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Category “ISO 17025”

Vartest Accredited to Test For Phthalates Under CPSIA:

Vartest has obtained A2LA accreditation to test for phthalates under the Consumer Product and Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). This test (designation CPSC-CH-C1001-09.3) provides an excellent complement to Vartest’s lead and heavy metal detection testing services, allowing our laboratory to ensure full safety compliance for a range of materials and products.

Three-dimensional model of a Di (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, or DEHP, one of the most common phthalates in use.


Phthalates are compounds of phthalic acid widely used as plasticizers, chemical compounds which increase the strength and malleability of plastics. Found in or on the majority of plastic or polymeric products worldwide, including toys, textiles, garments, and upholstery, phthalates and plasticizers in general are produced and used by the millions of tons per annum. However, phthalates’ weak chemical bond to the plastics in which they are used (specifically, the lack of a covalent bond) allows them to be relatively easily released into the environment when the plastics age. This process has been associated with certain detrimental effects to the environment, resulting in phthalates’ regulation under CPSIA as of February 10, 2009.

Structural Diagram of DEHP Phthalate


Vartest tests for phthalates using the Standard Operating Procedure supplementary to CPSC-CH-1001-09.3, dissolving the sample in a solution of HPLC-grade tetrahydrofuran (THF), precipitating sample polymers with HPLC-grade hexanes, and filtering the solution through a .45μm polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) filter. The filtered solution is then subjected to gas chromatography and mass spectrometry (GCMS) to isolate and identify the resultant phthalates. Samples are monitored using both full scan mode and selected ion monitoring (SIM), and our machinery runs a quality control sample each day. Products tested include fabric adhesives, coatings, print applications, children’s products, plastic components of various garments, and other end use items.

Vartest GCMS Equipment


Vartest provides testing for the following phthalates:

  • Di-n-butylphthalate(DnBP) (CAS No. 84-74-2)
  • Benzyl butyl phthalate(BBP) (CAS No. 85-68-7)
  • Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate(DEHP) (CAS No. 117-81-7)
  • Di-n-octyl phthalate (DnOP) (CAS No. 117-84-0)
  • Diisononyl phthalate (DINP) (CAS Nos. 28553-12-0, 68515-48-0)
  • Diisodecyl phthalate (DIDP) (CAS Nos. 26761-40-0, 68515-49-1)
  • Di-n-hexyl phthalate (DnHP) (CAS No. 84-75-3)

Vartest offers services under CPSIA testing standards for a diverse clientele, and will continue to expand its testing capabilities.


Vartest has successfully completed participation in AATCC Proficiency Trials in support of ongoing ISO/IEC 17025 Accreditation for AATCC Test Methods 147 and 100. Additionally elemental analysis via wet chemistry/spectroscopy and energy dispersive xray are available in order to measure the presence and establish the location of elements such as silver which are associated with a particular anti bacterial finish.

Both leaching and nonleaching finishes can be assessed.

Biosafety Level 2 Testing At Vartest


Antibacterial testing is often one component of a battery of tests that Vartest performs to fully characterize a textile product. Both leaching and non leaching finishes can be assessed and Vartest has full capability to analyse the substrate to which an antibacterial finish has been applied.


Textile testing of cotton sheeting using the ASTM International D5034-09 Standard Test Method for Breaking Strength and Elongation (Grab Test) demonstrates the ability of the laboratory to characterize and provide corrective actions to manufacturers and importers based on the determination of assignable and common causes within the framework of a quality control program. Common causes of variation are those associated with everyday or typical on target mill performance. Assignable causes causes are those associated with a loss of control in the manufacturing process that can lead to production of products that fail important performance specifications.

The sample used comprised a plain weave square cotton sheeting whose structure is shown below using both reflected light and scanning electron microscopy:


Light Micrograph Of Plain Weave Textile Structure

Light Microscopy Micrograph Of Plain Weave Sheeting Fabric



Plain Weave Textile Structure Of Cotton Yarn

Scanning Electron Microscopy Of Plain Woven Structure


Testing was performed on Vartest’s Instron 5569 load frame running Bluehill 3 software with real time video capture as seen in the following image:


Video Capture Complements Graphical Force Elongation Curve And Tabular Analysis

Video Capture Provides The Ultimate In Specimen Performance Chracterization


A 100 specimen sample taken in the warp direction was tested on Vartest’s Instron 5569 Constant Rate of Extension Load Frame with interactive video capture as seen in following force elongation curves:


ASTM D5034 Specimens 1 through 25

Specimens 1 through 25


Specimens 26 through 50

Specimens 51 through 75

Specimens 76 through 100


Breaking force was exported and plotted as a control chart which revealed specimens 20 and 85 displaying variation attributable to assignable causes:


Control Chart For Breaking Force


Elongation at break was also exported and plotted as a control chart which revealed specimens 19, 20 and 85 displaying variation attributable to assignable causes.


Control Chart For Elongation At Break


Investigation of video capture files for these specimens revealed slippage at the jaw due to intentionally induced gradually decreasing low air pressure being introduced into the pneumatic clamps as the cause of excessive variation in specimens 20 and 21:


For comparison the break characteristics of Specimen 5 showing only common cause variation is shown in the following video:



Specimen 85 was revealed to be a filling direction specimen that had been intentionally introduced into the test specimen series. While the breaking force of the filling specimen was about 30% lower than the mean, the elongation at break was about 300% higher than the mean; predominantly due to the high level of filling yarn crimp possessed by the filling specimen as opposed to the relatively low amount of warp yarn crimp possessed by the warp specimens as seen in the following video:

Variation in textile quality can be quantified and managed readily with statistical tools used in conjunction with standard test methods and performance specifications.

Gaussian Sort Of Tested Specimens


Assignable causes of variation in textile and apparel quality such as uneven application of water resistant finishes, antibacterial finishes and seam slippage performance can all be analyzed and corrected with the aid of these techniques. Accredited quality assurance laboratories inform and control factory supply chains worldwide.

For more information click here for Instron’s Website.