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General Quality and Testing
Regulations for Furniture
Protection of the Environment
and Personal Health
Quality Assurance RAL-GZ 430
Dated: January 2016 DEUTSCHES INSTITUT FÜR GÜTESICHERUNG UND KENNZEICHNUNG E.V.
Protection of the Environment and Personal Health (RAL-GZ 430)
Quality and Testing Regulations for Furniture RAL-GZ 430
Protection of the Environment and Personal Health
Note
Nowadays, the environment and personal health are of great importance for consu-

mers. In close cooperation with the Federal Environment Agency and leading testing
institutes, requirements have been revised to meet latest scientific findings.
These requirements apply to furniture as purchasable by consumers in furniture retail outlets.
Manufacturers must ensure that all supplied materials (even those imported from abroad) conform to German
statutory regulations and the additional DGM requirements.
The first assessment and monitoring tests must be carried out in the test cycle in accordance with the General
Quality and Testing Regulations as part of Point 3 Monitoring.
1 Statutory Regulations
The essential statutory regulations concerning protection from hazardous materials:
– Chemical laws
Regulation governing bans and limitations placed on the distribution of hazardous materials as well as pre-
parations and products in accordance with the chemical laws and the regulation regarding protection from
hazardous materials:
– Prohibited chemicals list
– Hazardous materials regulation

Other standards
The use of PVC should be limited to furniture elements for which no other suitable materials are available or
which require the particular characteristics of PVC.
The use of PVC must be stated in the product information (PI). Removable PVC parts are not subject to this regu-
lation, so long as they are clearly labelled as PVC parts.
Preparations (paints, adhesives, etching acid, coatings etc.) must not contain any substances of the following
categories as component substances:
a) Carcinogenic of categories 1 or 2 according to Table 3.2 or categories 1A and 1B according to Table
3.1 of Annex VI of the EC Regulation 1272/2008; 1)
for formaldehyde the limit values according to 3.1 "Formaldehyde emission" apply
b) Mutagenic of categories 1 or 2 according to Table 3.2 or categories 1A and 1B according to T 3.1 of
Annex VI of the EC Regulation 1272/2008
c) Teratogenic of categories 1 and 2 according to Table 3.2 or categories 1A and 1B according to Table
3.1 of Annex VI of the EC Regulation 1272/2008
d) Sensitising substances according to TRGS 907 and the EC Regulation 1272/2008, Annex VI
e) Particularly alarming due to other reasons and which have been included in the list (so-called Candidate List)
that was compiled according to REACH Article 59 1)
Excluded from these regulations are:
a) Process-related, technically unavoidable impurities that are below the classification limits for mixtures.
b) Monomers or additives that either react to polymers or are chemically (covalent) bonded to the plastic
during plastics manufacturing, if their residual concentrations are below the classification limits for mixtures.
Protection of the Environment and Personal Health (RAL-GZ 430)
2 General Requirements for Test Samples
Investigations in test chambers can be carried out on complete furniture units as well as on individual parts. The
selection of test samples should be agreed between the test centre and manufacturer and conducted in a way
that all of the different models which are to be given the quality mark are represented in testing.
1 Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 of the European Parliament and the European Council of 16 December 2008 on classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures, amending and repealing Direc- tives 67/548/EEC and 1999/45/EC, and amending Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006, Annex VI Har- monised Classification and Labelling of Certain Hazardous Substances, Part 3: Harmonised Classification and Labelling. Short: CLP Regulation http://www.reach-info.de/ghs_verordnung.htm in the currently valid The CLP Regulation (Global Harmonisation System) which entered into force on 20.01.2009 replaces the old Directives 67/548/EEC and 1999/45/EC. Thereafter, classification, labelling and packaging of sub- stances take place according to Directive 67/548/EEC (Dangerous Substances Directive) until 1 December 2010 and of mixtures according to Directive 1999/45/EC (Dangerous Preparations Directive) until 1 June 2015. Departing from this regulation, classification, labelling and packaging of substances and preparations can be carried out according to requirements of the CLP Regulation even before 1 December 2010 or 1 June 2015. Regulations of the Dangerous Substances Directive and the Dangerous Preparations Directive shall not apply in this case.
Link for the candidate list of the Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 for Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH): 2.1 Test material
End products that fall within the area of application differ from each other when it comes to shape, materials
and the amount of used materials. Therefore, the assessor responsible for the monitoring test or the testing
institute must decide on test procedures and choose test pieces in agreement with the manufacturer in each
individual case.
Two possible tests are intended for wooden and wood-based furniture with a three-dimensional surface:
a) Whole-body testing, in particular for small furniture, chairs etc.
b) Component testing, in particular for modular furniture and furniture programs with similar components.
a) Whole-body testing
The product to be examined must be taken directly from current production. Vendor parts may be max. 10 days
old. A deviation from this regulation is permitted if the manufacturer can proof that individual vendor parts used
in the normal production process are regularly older than 10 days.
Immediately after removal from production, the product must be placed in airtight packaging. Free standing
cabinets must be closed when packed.
b) Component testing
In the case of component testing, e.g. for furniture programs, the testing institute chooses the components to be
examined in consultation with the manufacturer. Different used materials, in particular different coating systems,
have to be taken into account here. The selection must guarantee that the requirements of the basic criteria of the
product to be examined are met. For components with a total surface share of not more than 5% of the product,
sample analyses and emission testing are not necessary.
Components to be examined should be taken in sufficient quantity directly from current production. Vendor
parts may be max. 10 days old. A deviation from this regulation is permitted if the manufacturer can proof
that individual vendor parts used in the normal production process are regularly older than 10 days. When it
comes to flat components, at least 3 should be taken out as a pile and only the middle component should be
used for emission testing.
Protection of the Environment and Personal Health (RAL-GZ 430)
The testing institute has to be consulted about the exact sample amount by taking the component's size and the necessary emission test chamber into consideration. Collected samples of identical components must be placed together in airtight packaging. The single samples should rest on top of each other as closely as possible to keep unavoidable emissions during transport to the testing institute as low as possible.
c) Transport
Packaged sample material should be transported to the testing institute as quickly as possible. The time period
between packaging and arrival at the testing institute must not exceed 7 days.
2.2 Preparation of samples
Until the extraction of test pieces takes place, the sample material must be packaged while stored at the testing
institute.
While preparing the test pieces for emission testing, only those flat components should be used that are stored
at the core of the pile and not those stored on the sides of the pile.
Testing of components and complete products in their original state can be carried out in a large test chamber.
Possible lower results for semi-volatile compounds have to be taken into account. Generally, test pieces have
to be taken from sample material, which can be tested in a test chamber that is suitable for volatile organic
compounds. Test pieces should represent used materials and different surfaces of the entire piece of furniture.
Narrow surfaces uncovered by cutting must be sealed suitably.
Self-adhesive, low-emission aluminium foil has proven itself suitable for this. Possible emissions from the alumini-
um foil itself have to be identified in preliminary tests.
To calculate the emission area, the surfaces on both sides as well as the narrow sides (without - as a result of
cutting of test pieces - subsequently sealed surfaces) have to be factored in.
After completing the test pieces, they have to be taken into the test chambers immediately or stored in packages
until the test chamber is loaded. The time period between packaging of samples at the manufacturer and loa-
ding the chambers should be as short as possible (max. 14 days).
3 Special Emissions Requirements for Furniture
3.1 Formaldehyde emission
3.2 Emission of volatile organic compounds (VOC)
3.3 Odour

Cupboard
Upholstered
Mattresses
Furniture
Testing acc. to
Testing acc. to
RAL-UZ 117
RAL-UZ 119
Formaldehydeafter max. 28 days = ≤ 60 µg/m³ = ≤ 60 µg/m³ = ≤ 60 µg/m³ = ≤ 60 µg/m³ Other aldehydesafter max. 28 days Protection of the Environment and Personal Health (RAL-GZ 430)
Cupboard
Upholstered
Mattresses
Furniture
Testing acc. to
Testing acc. to
RAL-UZ 117
RAL-UZ 119
TVOC (>C –C ) after max. 28 days TSVOC (>C –C ) after max. 28 days CMR-substancesafter 3 days ∑ ≤ 10 µg/m³ ∑ ≤ 10 µg/m³ ∑ ≤ 10 µg/m³ ∑ ≤ 10 µg/m³ ∑ ≤ 10 µg/m³ after max. 28 days Odour (See following Total VOC without NIK 1) A sufficient data base does not yet exist. In the future, artificial leather must be tested. A transitional period is valid until 31.12.2016.
2) R-Value for an initial evaluation of the quantified test chamber concentration. Upholstered Furniture Upholstered Furniture
3 m3 for single chairs Relative humidity Air change and/or area-specific flow rate Note: Upholstered chairs are tested with an air change of 2 m3/h.
The following applies for upholstered beds and box-spring beds: < 120 cm width with an air change of 8 m3/h > 120 cm width with an air change of 16 m3/h Evaluation as upholstered chairs (test chamber concentration) The result reached after a 28-day duration stay in the test chamber is relevant.
If lower values are demonstrated before this, then the test may be shortened under certain conditions.
Protection of the Environment and Personal Health (RAL-GZ 430)
TestingThe BAM test procedure (Amts- und Mitteilungsblatt der Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung) in the current version acc. to RAL-UZ 38 provides the basis for measuring emissions of volatile organic com-pounds and formaldehyde.
Requirements concerning test chamber procedures and the analysis thereof are based on the series of stan-dards DIN EN ISO 16000 ff.
For textiles (upholstery fabrics and mattress cover materials), alternative test certificates according to ÖKO-TEX 100 in the Category 1 and 2 or according to IVN Naturtextil Siegel are also accepted as verification of the part "Protection of the Environment and Health" of RAL-GZ 430. Exception: Permethrin is not included in the ÖKO-TEX Standard and must be tested separately – if it has a wool
component.
3.4 Odour emission
The odour test must be carried out after a time period of 8 days at the earliest and 28 days at the latest in
the test chamber. If there is previous testing according to Pt. 3.1 or 3.2, testing can be carried out after the
previous testing is completed. If multiple tests are carried out, the result of the last test series (longest period in
test chamber) is definitive.
Requirements:
Threshold Values: Level 3
The majority of individual results must not exceed level 3.0.
Average values must be ≤ 3.0.
(Odour emission is the main reason for returned products)
Testing:Odour neutral room:Temperature: 23°C ± 1°C Humidity: 50 % rel. humidity, ± 5 % rel. humidity Air change rate: subject to type of test sample Chamber volume: min. 200 litres (with small test chambers, the odour test can only be used as orientation)Room loading: subject to type of test sample At least 7 test persons independently assess the odour intensity according to a 5 point scale:1 = no odour2 = weak odour3 = distinctive, not unpleasant odour4 = unpleasant odour5 = unbearable odourThe following should be recorded:– Age and sex of the test persons– Room size– Room temperature Protection of the Environment and Personal Health (RAL-GZ 430)
– Room humidity (rel. humidity)– Date of assessment– Time span between production and odour assessment – Type of odour Test persons:The test team (at least 7 people, at least 3 of which must be female) should spend at least 10 minutes in a room with pure air before carrying out the assessment. The odour assessment is conducted in undiluted form. The senses of the test team should not become biased in connection with the odours to be evaluated. Mean value:A highest and lowest value from all the recorded data must not be used for calculating a mean value. Only the mean value is stated in test reports. 4 Additional Material Requirements
4.1 Additional material requirements for leather
PCP, chlorophenols and bromphenols o-Phenylphenol (oPP) < 500 mg/kg*** Azoic dyes, which release certain amines, DIN EN ISO 17234-1 are not permitted (in accordance with EU- Directive 2002/61/EC)Carcinogenic, mutagenic or teratogenic In accordance with DIN dispersion dyes, potentially irritating dyes and pigments containing cadmium, mercury, lead or nickel must not be processed.
Chromium (VI) Concentrations of 4-Chlor-3-methylphenol (CMK) can total up to 600 mg/kg, so long as the test chamber concentration does not exceed 12 µg/m3 after 28 days.
Concentrations of N-Octylisothiazolinon (N-OIT) can total up to 250 mg/kg, if concentrations of n-OIT in the test chamber are not provable after 28 days (< 1 µg/m3).
*** Concentrations of o-Phenylphenol (oPP)) can total up to 1000 mg/kg, so long as the test chamber concentration does not exceed 23 µg/m3 after 28 days.
Investigations in test chambers must total 28 days according to RAL-UZ 117.
Protection of the Environment and Personal Health (RAL-GZ 430)
4.2 Additional material requirements for all other used materials
– Chlorophenols
Pentachlorophenols / Tetrachlorophenols / Trichlorophenols
Test samples:
Natural fibres, wood-based materials, latex
Values to be maintained for individual biocides:
Wood-based materials: Analysis methodsThe sample is heated with 1 m KOH in a drying cabinet. An aliquot of the extract is derived with the acetic anhydride. The derivative is extracted with n-Hexan and analysed at the capillary-GC using ECD. Other procedures are permitted, so long as comparability is proven. – Pyrethroids / Permethrin
Test bodies: Wool material of animal origin
An effective protection against moths requires between 35 and 75 mg/kg, and between 75 and
100 mg/kg against beetles.
Concentrations between 3 mg/kg and 35 mg/kg should therefore be viewed as contamination without
function and are not permitted.
The manufacturer is required to include the following sentence in the product information if products contain
permethrin concentrations between 35 mg/kg and 100 mg/kg:
"Product contains permethrin to protect against pests that damage wool."
Concentrations over 100 mg/kg are not permitted.
The following values must be maintained if the material is not protected against wool pests:
Permethrin < 3.0 mg/kg.
The concentration of the remaining proven pyrethroids must not exceed 1 mg/kg.
The manufacturer is required to include the following sentence in the product information if products adhere
to this limit value:
"Not protected against pests that damage wool."
Testing:Determining absolute content in material samplesApprox. 1 – 5 g of material sample are weighed in an extraction thimble and closed with Glass wool or filter paper. The extraction thimble is extracted with a 1:1 n-Hexan-Aceton mixture for six hours in the Soxhlet extractor.
The extract is then compressed using a rotary evaporator and then topped up to a defined volume
(approx. 5 ml) using an extraction agent.
Measurements are made on the GC-MS (SIM-Mode). Permethrin, Furmecyclox, Piperonylbutoxid, Tetrame-
thrin, Cyfluthrin, Cypermethrin, Fenvalerat and Deltamethrin concentrations are recorded using this process. Threshold values:0.1 –1 mg/kg (depending on compound and initial weight) Protection of the Environment and Personal Health (RAL-GZ 430)
– Other biocides
Carcinogenic, mutagenic or teratogenic dispersion dyes, potentially irritating dyes and dyes containing heavy metals are not permitted.
Insecticides and fungicides:
Aldrin, Azinophosethyl, Azinophosmethyl, Bromophos-ethyl, Captafol, Carbaryl, Chlordane, Chlordime
form, Chlorfenvinphos, Coumaphos, Cyfluthrin, Cyhalothrin, Cypermethrin, DDD, DDE, DDT, Deltamethrin,
Diazinon, Dicrotophos, Dieldrin, Dimethoat, Endosulfan (α- and β-), Endrin, Esfenvalerat, Fenvalerat,
Heptachlor, Heptachlorepoxid, Hexachlorbenzol, Hexachlor-cyclo hexan (α-, β- and δ-), Lindan,
Malathion, Methamidophos, Methoxychlor, Mirex, Monocrotophos, Orthophenylphenol, Parathion,
Parathion-methyl, Pentachlorphenol, Phosdrin/Mevinphos, Profenophos, Propetamphos, Quinalphos,
Tetrachlor-phenol, Toxaphen (Camphechlor);
Herbicides:
2,4,5-T, 2,4-D, DEF, Dichlorprop, Dinoseb and salts, MCPA, MCPB, Mecoprop, Trifluralin.
The total content (sum) of detected biocides must not exceed 1 mg/kg.
Note: Proof can be supplied by submitting valid ÖKO-TEX Certificates of Category 1 and 2.
Exception: Permethrin is not included in the ÖKO-TEX Standard and must be tested separately – if it has a wool component.
Testing:Different analytical methods are used depending on substance and family (e.g. extraction using Soxhlet column chromatography purification, qualitative and quantitative measurement using GC-ECD, GC-MS).
Threshold values: 0.1 – 1 mg/kg
– Azodyes
Azodyes which release certain amines are not permitted (according to EU Directive 2002/61/EC).
This requirement applies to textiles and materials that come into mid- to long-term contact with the human skin
(does not apply to cupboards for example).
Test body: Leather, natural fibres and synthetic fibres
Threshold value(s):
The amines listed in EU Directive 2002/61/EC must not be detectable (that means < 30 mg/kg).
Testing:The test procedure is described in the Official List of Investigative Procedures ("Amtliche Sammlung von Untersuchungsverfahren according to Section 64 of the LFGB"):Natural fibres: B 82.02-2 (DIN 14362-1); Polyester fibres: B 82.02-4 (DIN 14362-2) The following must be stated in the test report, if concentrations per amine component under 30 mg/kg are found:"According to the extent of testing undertaken, azodyes, the use of which is not permitted under EU Directive 2002/61 /EC, were not found to be present".
Proof via manufacturer's declaration possible.
– Dispersion dyes and pigments
Protection of the Environment and Personal Health (RAL-GZ 430)
Azodyes which release certain amines are not permitted (according to EU Directive 2002/61/EC).
This requirement applies to textiles and materials that come into mid- to long-term contact with the human skin (does not apply to cupboards for example).
Testing according to DIN 54231
Proof via manufacturer's declaration possible.
– CFC
CFC must not be used in production (CFC-Halogen Ban).
Proof via certification.
– Flame retardant for PUR foam
The use of organic halogen flame retardants and plasticisers is not permitted (Exception: furniture in
buildings with increased anti-fire protection, e.g. theatres).
Test bodies: PUR foams
Threshold value(s):
Tris(2-chlorethyl)phosphat (TCEP):
Tris(2-chlorpropyl)phosphat (TCPP): Tris(1,2-dichlor-2-propyl)phosphate (TDCP): < 50 mg/kg Testing:Extraction und measurement using GC-MSD**or similar procedure – Heavy metals
The following requirements only apply to furniture for toddlers
Test bodies: Painted surfaces and any natural or synthetic fibres, e.g. seat covers etc.
Threshold value(s): see Toy Standard EN 71 Part 3.
– PAH (Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons)
Testing and evaluation according to AfPS GS 2014:01 PAH
(Specification acc. to § 21 (1) No 3 ProdSG) and/or the relevant current standard
Proof via manufacturer's declaration possible.
Permitted PAH-maximum levels for materials of relevant contact/gripping and actuating surfaces which have to be categorised due to the results of risk assessment.
Category 1
Category 2
Category 3
Materials destined to be put Materials which are not part Materials which are not part in the mouth or materials in of Cat. 1, with an intended of Cat. 1 or 2, with an inten-toys with intended and long- skin contact of more than ded skin contact of up to 30 term skin contact 30 s (long-term skin contact) s (short-term skin contact) or repeated short-term skin contact Benzo[b]fluoranthene mg/kg < 0.2
Protection of the Environment and Personal Health (RAL-GZ 430)
Benzo[j]fluoranthene mg/kg < 0.2
Benzo[k]fluoranthene mg/kg < 0.2
Chrysene mg/kg
Indeno[1,2,3-cd]pyrene mg/ < 0.2
kg
Acenaphthylene, Acena-
phthene, Fluorene, Phenan-

threne, Pyrene, Anthracene, in total
Total 18 PAH2)
1) Expression "repeated short-term skin contact" from REACH Appendix XVII No 50 Supplement (VO [EU] No 1272/2013)2) If the permitted limits of Category 1 are exceeded, but the limits of Category 2 can still be met, proof of suitability for contact with the oral mucosa via an additional specific migration testing for PAH-components according to the requirements of DIN EN 1186ff and § 64 LFGB 80.30-1 can be provided. Results of the migration have to be evaluated according to food law standards.
4.3 Additional requirements for mattresses
With regard to requirements and testing for harmful substances, regulations according to RAL-UZ 119 apply
for mattresses.
5 Environment Compatibility and Sustainability
The following criteria must be considered (proof via manufacturer's declaration):
5.1 Use of materials
Solid wood and wood-based materials
Solid wood and wood-based materials must come from sustainable and legally cultivated forestry sources
(FSC/PEFC documentation) or comply with the EU Regulation 995/2010. If waste wood is used in wood-ba-
sed materials, the Waste Wood Ordinance must be adhered to. Proof of pollutant limit values of the Waste
Wood Ordinance according to testing in compliance with the EPF standard:
Plastic components
Plastic components >50 g should be labelled according to ISO 11469 and not contain additives of other
materials which are opposed to recycling.
Liquid coating systems
Operators of coating plants must meet the requirements of the 31st BlmSchV or comply with the European VOC
Directive. This has to be proven via the applicant's declaration.
Adhesives
The VOC content of adhesives should not amount to >10% for water-based systems and >30% for systems
based on solvents.
Protection of the Environment and Personal Health (RAL-GZ 430)
Wear parts
For wear parts, a functional, compatible replacement over a time period of at least 5 years is guaranteed.
Because wear of upholstered surfaces is subject to the intensity of use and regular cleaning and care practices,
this requirement does not apply to upholstered materials (textiles / leather).
Constructional layout
Principles of a recycling-suitable constructional layout (VDI 2243) have to be taken into account. The use of
recyclable and biodegradable materials is to be preferred.
Durability
With adherence to the respective "Extra Quality and Testing Regulations" of this RAL and with an appropriate
constructional layout, the durability of products is to be guaranteed.
Packaging material
Packaging material must be suitable for reuse or recycling. The design of the packaging must allow for existing
volatile components of furniture to outgas.
Recycling and disposal
Concerning recycling and disposal, no material preservatives (fungicides, insecticides, flame retardants) or ha-
logenated organic compounds may be added to the pieces of furniture or the materials used for their production
(wood-based materials, adhesives, coating etc.).
This excludes fungicides which are only used for in-can preservation in water-based coatings and glues or flame
retardants which use inorganic ammonium phosphates (diammonium phosphate, ammonium polyphosphate
etc.), boron compounds (boric acid, borates) or other water-eliminating minerals (aluminium trihydrate etc.) for
flame retardation.
5.2 Energy and eco-balance
Respective documents must show the efforts of manufacturers concerning the minimization of their atmospheric
and energetic environmental pollution caused by the transport of their products and supplier material.
Use of self-generated renewable energy (e.g. the burning of waste wood) and additional purchases of
CO2-neutral energy is to be preferred.
To optimize material and energy use concerning a sustainable eco-balance, the implementation of a life cycle
assessment based on the systematization of the standards ISO 14001, ISO 14040 and ISO 14044 is suitable.
A life cycle assessment and/or Environment Declaration of Products according to DIN EN ISO 14025 (EPD
proof) is recommended.
5.3 Human and ecosystem health
Other than legal regulations on the handling of chemicals which are dangerous for mankind and the env-
ironment (e.g. REACH Regulation), this RAL-GZ 430 also includes extensive test requirements to guarantee
pollutant-tested furniture.
5.4 Social responsibility
With regard to sustainable personnel development and to safeguard health, work protection and social wor-
king conditions, a company should - according to good management practice - document responsibilities and
procedural rights concerning this matter.
This includes in particular:
- Fair recruitment practice
Protection of the Environment and Personal Health (RAL-GZ 430)
- Further training of employees - Social responsibility for operational regulations - Social ethicsSocial ethics can include social measures for the local environment of a business facility (e.g. sponsoring of cultural or charitable institutions).
Concerning the social responsibility for products of the supply chain that the company cannot influence directly, if possible suppliers are to be preferred that take social standards into consideration.
6 Product Information (PI)
Notes on wearable parts and their repair or exchange, if necessary repair service: For wearable parts, a
functional and compatible replacement must be guaranteed for a period of at least 5 years.
- Details concerning the origin and type of wood used
- Details concerning other used materials (Part > 3 weight percent)
- Note concerning product assembly
- Note concerning disassembly for moving and subsequent material recycling
- If the use of PVC is unavoidable, this must be stated in the product information.
7 Advertising
Adverts may not make any statements such as "biologically tested" or similar statements that play down dangers
(e.g. "non-toxic", "no risk to health", "free from …") as laid out in the EU Directive 67/548/EWG Article 23
(Designation) Section 4.

Source: http://www.dgm-moebel.de/healthy-living-dgm-commitment.html?file=tl_files/content/verbraucherservice/RAL-GZ-430_0_Protection_of_the_Environment_and_Personal_Health_2016.pdf

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