Toxic Chemicals in old and new clothing are a serious health risk and cannot be washed out of fabric. Makes one wonder why the manufacturing process is even ‘allowed’. The things we just put up with, and do we ever consider the damage to our drinking water let alone wildlife?
Can old and new clothes give you cancer?
TOXIC CHEMICALS, SUBSTANCES OF HIGH CONCERN!
- chemical fabric softeners
- detergents of all sorts
- imported clothes are now impregnated with long-lasting disinfectants
- petrochemical dyes | dispersion dyes (causing allergies, allergic reactions and rashes)
- azo dyes (carcinogenic/mutagenic meaning: changing genetic material)
- sulphites | triclosan | parabens
- printing inks | heavy metals
- volatile organic compounds or VOCs
- dioxin-producing bleach
- chlorinated phenols (PCP, TeCP, TriCP) contact with PCP especially vapour is a skin, eye, mouth irritant. Even low levels of long-term exposure can cause liver, kidneys, blood and nervous system damage. Exposure is associated with carcinogenic, renal and neurological effects
- Chromium VI (causes contact dermatitis)
- DMF (may cause extensive eczema which is difficult to treat)
- phthalates (in PVC/plastic for shoes/rainwear and suspected of being carcinogenic and may disturb the hormone system
- alkylphenols (used for textile/leather production, a disruptor of the human endocrine system let alone toxic for the environment)
- formaldehyde (which is a preservative used to embalm dead bodies) to prevent shrinkage.
Formaldehyde for example doesn’t just preserve dead bodies, it is also used in wood building materials as well as new carpet adhesives. Low level exposure can cause allergies of the skin and the lungs and is an irritant for the eyes, nose and throat. High level exposure can cause fluid build up in the lungs. Formaldehyde is classified as cancer causing toxic substance. And lately I have even done some research on a particular smoothie range where you would never think that they add it to their ‘healthy’ drink. So don’t take a known company name and their word for their product to be of ANY health! Do your research!
Is dry cleaning the answer?
If you think that traditional dry cleaning is the answer, think again. In the cleaning process a liquid solvent called Perchloroethylene (also known as tetrachloroethylene) or in short “perc” is used which is considered a toxic air pollutant known to cause cancer and/or other serious health effects. PERC is a chemical solvent not only used by dry cleaners, but also as a metal degreaser and added in the production of many other chemicals. So just imagine that on your skin, your biggest organ. You take it’s breath away and it will ingest whatever you put onto it.
For you and the environment, non-toxic clothing!
It’s a great start to look for clothing made from organic cotton. Look out for the OEKO-TEX Standard 100 label, which tells us that it has been checked/tested by an independent laboratory that found it to be free of harmful levels of more than 100 toxic chemicals.