Cotance and the European Footwear Confederation (CEC) reached out to the agency on March 15 in a letter than denounced the infographic and social media posts on the topic.

The organisations highlighted that the infographic gave the impression that that leather automatically contains chromium VI, and that this presence is likely to cause cancer, causing unjust concern in consumers.

ECHA replied on April 9, saying: “We [ECHA] apologise for this error and have corrected the infographic, as soon as our attention was drawn to it, to reflect the actual situation. We have also removed the LinkedIn post referred to in your letter.”

Carmen Arias, Secretary General of CEC, said in response: “It is a good thing that ECHA rectified, but we regret that they did not fully capture our concern; they have managed the issue like a simple ‘editorial mistake’. We believe the harm done to the reputation and appeal of the leather value chain would need something more.”

The organisations said that they expect further action from ECHA to rectify the issue, including running a formal corrigendum for repairing the unintended consequences of its actions.