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Watch Out for Toxic Chemicals in New Clothes

(Health Secrets) Beware of chemicals in new clothes you buy. The clothes you love the most may be a storehouse of the chemicals used to manufacture them. The push to chemicalize our environment started back in the 1950’s, when a major chemical company coined the advertising slogan “better living through chemistry”.  But the truth is that chemicals have not made our world a better place, and now we are all trying to survive in the toxic soup those chemicals have made of our environment.  Our food, water, and the air we breathe are tainted with chemicals, and believe it or not, the toxic chemicals in new clothes are just as bad.

The skin is our largest organ, and it pays to take good care of it. But potent chemicals are used extensively in making the fabric from which out clothes are cut, and also in the clothing manufacturing process itself.

Most of the new clothes we buy now come from Asian or third world countries, where the use of toxic chemicals in new clothes is a matter of course.  Asian manufacturers supply American and other multinational brand name labels with clothes to yield high profits based on cheap production in regions without even shoddy regulatory agency protection.  There is little or no oversight of the chemicals used in the process.

Want to know what’s in your new clothes?

Following manufacture, the new clothes we buy are often covered with formaldehyde to keep them from wrinkling or becoming mildewed during shipping. Formaldehyde as a preservative also adds to vaccines’ toxicity, and of course we know what it does to dead bodies.

Several severe allergic reactions to formaldehyde in new clothes have been reported, and 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.

The long term, negative, cumulative effect on health from new clothes and other new cloth items we use everyday is almost impossible to trace back to any particular source. 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!

Another commonly used clothing chemical is nonylphenol ehtoxylate (NPE). The use of NPE is restricted in most regions where the big name brand clothes are sold. But there are no restrictions where the are made, in factories are located in China and Southeast Asia. There are 14 big name brands that get their clothing from clothing factories using NPE.

Wrinkle free or no-iron should be considered a warning for carcinogenic perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs). Teflon used in cookwear is a PFC too. Petrochemical dyes are used on fibers in those Asian textile factories that profusely pollute nearby waterways.

“Urgent action is needed to replace hazardous chemicals with safer alternatives especially in clothing and other consumer products”, warns Dr. Richard Dixon of the World Wildlife Federation on the ecological impact to wildlife.

NPE’s are commonly used as detergents in textile industries abroad that are contracted by multi-national USA and EU-based clothing companies. NPEs break down into a toxin with hormone-disrupting properties similar to bisphenol A (BPA) we heard to much about lately.

Black clothing and dyes for leathers often contain p-Phenylenediamine (PPD), which can produce allergic reactions. Toxic flame retardants can appear in bedding and nightwear, particularly that made for children. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and dioxin-producing bleach are used by textile industries. Athletic shoes that contain cloth contain some of these toxins.

Learn how to protect yourself

Learn to read clothing labels before you buy, and try to avoid synthetic materials such as Rayon, Nylon, Polyester, Acrylic, Acetate or Triacetate as much as possible. Even if you wash them, they are not safe.  Their fibers break down as you wear the clothes and release their toxic residues directly on you skin.  The fibers can also be breathed in.  Be sure to avoid anything that says it is no-iron, wrinkle free or preshrunk.

If you must buy clothing so labeled, wash and dry those clothes three times before wearing. Use only safe, organic detergents from health food stores. Avoid those dryer sheets sold in conventional store to reduce clinging.  They are loaded with toxic chemicals and especially toxic chemical fragrances.

It may seem like buying used clothes would be a better way to go, but used clothing purchased from thrift stores such as Goodwill or that you buy on ebay may be sprayed with chemicals before they’re put up for sale. Wash and dry them at least once. Stay away from dry cleaners that use perchloroethylene. There are some that don’t.

For more information:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk

http://www.rosewoodmassage.com

http://digitaljournal.com/article/310703

http://www.brighthub.com/environment/green-living/articles/91967.aspx

http://www.greenpeace.org

Published with permission from Alignlife.  Original article link is here.

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