About Clothing Toxins
Nonylphenol Ethoxylates - Nonylphenol Ethoxylates (NPEs), are commonly used as detergents in industries including the production of natural and synthetic textiles. NPEs break down to form nonylphenol, a dangerous toxin that has persistent and hormone-disrupting properties. This toxin has been proven to mimic female hormones, alter sexual development and affect reproductive systems. Certain components of NPEs have been involved in the widespread "feminization" of male fish in parts of Europe and also in the disruption of hormone processes in some mammals, according to the campaign group WWF. Even at low levels, this toxin represents a big threat to the environment and to human health. It is no coincidence that use of NPEs is completely restricted in Europe.
Greenpeace said it purchased 78 different branded clothing samples (most of them made in China, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines) from 18 countries around the world and subjected them to careful scientific analysis. NPEs were detected in two-thirds of the samples the group tested, including popular brands such as Calvin Klein, Adidas, Converse, Ralph Lauren, Abercrombie & Fitch, Bauer Hockey, Cortefiel, Uniqlo, Gap, H&M, Lacoste, Nike, Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation (PVH Corp) and Puma.
Formaldehyde - Did you know that after clothes are made, they are often covered with formaldehyde to keep them from wrinkling or becoming mildewed during shipping. Formaldehyde as a preservative also adds to vaccines' toxicity. Several severe allergic reactions to formaldehyde have been reported. It's no wonder. Investigations have discovered up to 500 times the safe level of formaldehyde in clothing shipped to brand name clothiers form factories in China and Southeast Asia. There's also the long term, negative, cumulative effect on health that is almost impossible to trace back to any source of clothing chemicals. Formaldehyde and other toxic chemicals are used to create synthetic fibers for towels and bedding. Textile toxins are hard to avoid even when you're out of your clothes.
Antibacterial - They are used to prevent bacteria and hence bad odours and can be found in such clothes as sporting goods and cleaning equipment. Example of antibacterial used is triclosan, which is skin irritant and can cause adverse effects in aquatic, and silver ions which are highly toxic to aquatic organisms.
Fungucides - Fungucides is used to kill or inhibit fungus or fungal spores and in clothing it is used to prevents mould during transport. One fungicide that is being used is DMF (Dimethylfumerat). Sometimes fungicides can be present in those small bags labelled “anti- mould agent”. DMF has also been found in furniture and it can cause strong skin reactions. The substance has been forbidden in EU since 2009 and goods of products allegedly containing DMF or where the concentration of DMF is higher than 0,1 milligrams per kilograms is forbidden to sell.
Azo dyes - Azo dyes are a large group of substances containing the chemical azofuntion which gives colour properties. The substances are used to provide the textiles and leather clear and strong colours and are used widely due to their low costs. But some Azo dyes may pose health risk to humans by being broke down to mutagenic/carcinogenic aryl amines. Most Azo dyes are water-soluble and can therefore easy transfer into our bodies by skin contact and breathing. Therefore some of the azo dyes that are used in textiles and leather are prohibited within the EU. Some azo dyes are also allergenic.
Disperse dye - Disperse dyes are used to stain synthetic fibres, some are allergenic.Phthalates - Phthalates is the name of a group of chemical compounds based on phthalic substance. Phthalates is used in clothes as plasticizers in particular plastic pressure. Some phthalates, may impair fertility.