Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Human Environmental Sciences

Degree Level



Apparel Merchandising and Product Development


Cheramie, Lance

Committee Member/Reader

Miller, Jefferson

Committee Member/Second Reader

Conge, Patrick

Committee Member/Third Reader

Fraser, Andrew


Azo dyes are the most used type of dye in the textile industry. Some of these dyes have the potential to be extremely toxic to both human health and the environment. While regulations of these dyes vary across the world, it is suggested that not enough is being done to protect consumers and the environment from potentially harmful azo dyes (Rawat et al., 2016). It is the responsibility of apparel companies to ensure that their products that contain azo dyes are safe for consumers.

The purpose of this study was to understand how azo dyes and their by-products are restricted by apparel companies in the United States and the European Union and determine if there is a notable difference in company restrictions between these two regions. A qualitative content analysis was conducted on the restricted substances lists of six carefully selected companies between the two regions. Themes analyzed within these documents included: categorization of azo dyes and their by-products, substance detection limits based on these categories, the specific azo dyes and their by-products that were restricted, alternate forms of restriction, and the total and average amount of restricted azo dyes and their by-products restricted between the two regions.

Results show that there is a slight difference in the number of specific azo dyes and their by-products that are restricted between the two regions, however, more research is required to increase transferability across the apparel industry. It is recommended that companies distinguish which dyes are azo dyes in their restricted substances lists, agree on terminology in reference to substance detection limits, and provide additional information on the potential risks associated with the use of specific azo dyes.


Azo dye, aromatic amine, arylamine, restricted substances list