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What is a Restricted Substance List?

A Restricted Substance List (RSL) is designed to ban or limit certain chemical residues on (finished) products, in other words chemical substances that consumers might get exposed to when using an article. Restrictions can be based on government regulations, toxicological data, proprietary and brand requirements or industry initiatives.

Restricted Substance Lists help companies comply with laws and initiatives, regulate their supply chains and prevent recalls. They help protect consumers, workers, the planet and reputations.


Manage restricted substances.

What is the purpose of RSL testing?

  • Align quality with target group expectations
  • Fulfill legal requirements
  • Fit your budget AND your appetite for risk
  • Leverage existing certifications

One size does not fit all products or suppliers. We closely work together with you to determine your individual needs and tailor our scope of testing to your requirements.

Hohenstein Strategic Product Testing

Our global experts develop testing plans based on specific product needs and supply chain risk.

For low-risk products from trusted suppliers, spot checking may be sufficient. Testing should increase on high risk products and suppliers.

Smart testing plans adjust intensity accordingly.

Tests for Harmful Substances

We test to several RSLs/MRSLs, including:

Requirements & Laws

  • CPSC - CPSIA (Consumer Protection Safety Commission - Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act)
    Accredited testing lab for compliance with the U.S. regulations for lead, phthalates, toy safety, products for infants and toddlers and other product safety measures
  • REACH, POP (European Union)
    Testing for compliance with EU regulations that aim to protect consumers through increased testing for SVHCs (substances of very high concern)
  • EU Toy Directive (EU Toy Safety Directive 2009/48/EC)
    Testing and certification of toy safety for manufacture, import and sale of toys in Europe

Industry Initiatives & Certifications

  • Proprietary RSLs / MRSLs (individual/independent)
    Testing textiles, leather, chemicals, accessories, trims, finished goods, wastewater, etc. to restricted substance lists / manufacturing restricted substance lists
    Testing for OEKO-TEX® certification or testing plans that consider pre-certified inputs / source materials
  • ZDHC MRSL (Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals)
    Conformance screening and testing of chemicals or wastewater for substances banned from use in processing textile materials, leather, rubber, foam, adhesives and trims in textiles, apparel, and footwear
  • AFIRM RSL (Apparel and Footwear International RSL Management)
    Testing for substances limited by this industry working group, which assists supply chain participants seeking to increase product quality and safety or reduce their environmental impact
  • AAFA RSL (American Apparel & Footwear Association)
    Testing for alignment to this list of regulated, restricted or banned chemicals that are related to finished home textile, apparel and footwear products


Customer Service Laboratory Testing