Environmental analysis testing.
Chemical testing helps woolgrowers meet tougher eco rules
CSIRO is working with the Australian wool industry to ensure that greasy and processed wool meets the requirements of new European legislation on pesticide and other chemical residues.
15 July 2008 | Updated 14 October 2011
CSIRO environmental testing service
Comprehensive environmental legislation was enforced in all European Union (EU) member states from 2007.
The onus of proof is on each wool processor to demonstrate that its discharges have not caused damage to the environment.
Early stage wool processors now need to know and control the pesticide residues on wool they buy and process.
When woolgrowers use pesticides to control infestations such as blowfly and lice, small quantities can remain on the wool. These residues are removed during scouring and enter waste flows, and at that stage, those discharges are strictly regulated.
As a result, the EU legislation specifies allowable quantities of these residues on greasy wool. However, the allowed quantities will vary from mill to mill and from location to location, depending on:
the effluent treatment systems used
the size of the river system where the discharges occur
the number of other similar industries in the region.
The key is that each mill must be able to prove, to regulators and members of the public, that it did not harm the environment.
CSIRO has developed a set of proven analytical methods that can measure all lice and fly treatment chemicals on wool, in processing waste and in the environment. These internationally recognised methods form the basis of a testing service for wool brokers and woolgrowers.
Residue testing allows woolgrowers to:
understand and manage fly and lice control practices
supply the premium low-residue wool their customers will soon be demanding
help show that Australia produces the world's cleanest wool.
An important label
European wool and textile processors will need to demonstrate that they meet, or exceed, a range of 'good environmental practice' requirements if they are to continue to operate.
CSIRO is working with the European Union Eco-label body to have a validated declaration scheme written into the Eco-label criteria.
Products manufactured in supply chains where all members meet these best practice requirements are permitted to display an Eco-label, which can verify the improved environmental profile of the product to consumers.
For wool, the EU Eco-label allows consumers to recognise garments made from clean, low-residue wools that have been processed using clean production methods.
Other environmental services
CSIRO’s other environmental analysis capabilities include:
ISO 14 000 assistance and auditing
risk assessment and modelling
analysis of contaminants and pollutants in effluents, soils, and the environment
solid waste disposal systems, including composting, incineration and pelletising.
ISO 14 001 is an internationally accepted specification for environmental management systems. Our staff include an accredited ISO 14 001 auditor, and an environmental engineer.
Accessing the CSIRO environmental testing service:
a price list for our environmental testing service is available through the related topic link titled, Textile testing request and terms of service
clients may access the consultancy service directly. You can find the email address for the Environmental Management Group, Textiles under 'Contact' in the right-hand pane.
Find out more about CSIRO's Technical Services & Facilities.