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Toxic chemicals found in children’s clothing

Jan 23, 2014
Photo Credit:  Oscar Castañón Barragán

Photo Credit: Oscar Castañón Barragán

A recent report by Greenpeace detected toxic chemicals in a wide range of children’s’ clothing. Investigators looked at 82 items of children’s apparel from 25 different countries. Analyses were conducted to detect the presence of nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs), phthalates, organotins, per/poly-fluorinated chemicals (PFCs), and antimony. Researchers found traces of all of these chemicals in many of the children’s products examined, which means that clothing may be a significant source of exposure to pollutants for children. To avoid many toxic chemicals, make sure to look for the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) symbol when you are shopping for children’s clothing. Any chemical inputs in GOTS certified fabrics such as dyes, auxiliaries and process chemicals must be evaluated and meet basic requirements on toxicity and biodegradability/eliminability. Additionally, printing methods using phthalates and PVC are prohibited under GOTS certification, so it’s the best way to ensure that your clothing is free of toxic chemicals!

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One Response to “Toxic chemicals found in children’s clothing”

  1. Candice Pace says:

    There are over 2,000 different kinds of chemicals regularly used in textile production, many of them so toxic that they’re outlawed in other products. And this toxic bath is used on both organic fibers as well as non-organic fibers – the fibers are just the first step in the weaving and finishing of a fabric. (Make sure you buy organic fibers that are also organically processed or you do not have an organic fabric. An organic fabric is one that is third party certified to the Global Organic Textile Standard. ) Fabrics – even those made with organic fibers like organic cotton IF they are conventionally produced and not produced according to GOTS – contain chemicals such as formaldehyde, azo dyes, dioxin, and heavy metals. Some of the chemicals are there as residues from the production, others are added to give certain characteristics to the fabrics such as color, softness, crispness, wrinkle resistance, etc. And these chemicals are designed to do a job, and do it well. They are designed to NOT wash out. The dyes, for instance, are called “fiber reactive” dyes because they chemically bind with the fiber molecules in order to remain color fast. The chemical components of your fabric dye is there as long as the color is there. Many dyes contain a whole host of toxic chemicals. The heavy metals are common components of fabric dyes. They are part of the dye and part of the fabric fiber as long as the color remains.