Several decades ago, the Dupont logo had the following text attached: “Better living through chemistry.” Since then, many of us have come to realize we are living worse in a toxic environment that includes chemically polluted air, water, food, so called “medicine,” and now even clothing.
Dupont had created Rayon, a synthetic fiber used for much of our clothing. So it made sense to team up with the timber industry to ensure hemp was banned in the late 1930s. Rayon and paper could continue to be made by chemically processing wood from trees without competition.
Clothing clings to skin, our largest organ. Toxic chemicals are used excessively for processing garment fibers and also for manufacturing clothes. Asian and third world countries manufacture most textiles and clothes.
But they supply American and other multinational brand name labels with those clothes to yield high profits based on cheap production in regions without even shoddy regulatory agency protection.
What’s in your new brand name clothing?
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.
Another commonly used clothing chemical is nonylphenol ehtoxylate (NPE). NPE use is restricted in most regions where the big name brand clothes are sold. But there are no restrictions where the clothing factories are located in China and Southeast Asia. 14 big name brands get their clothing from clothing factories using NPE.
Wrinkle free or no-iron should be considered a warning for carcinogenic perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs). Teflon for pans is a PFC. Petrochemical dyes are used for fibers in those Asian textile factories that profusely pollute nearby waterways.
Dr. Richard Dixon of the World Wildlife Federation warns about the ecological impact on wildlife: “Urgent action is needed to replace hazardous chemicals with safer alternatives especially in clothing and other consumer products.” (Emphasis added).
Nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs) are commonly used as detergents in textile industries abroad that are contracted by multi-national USA and EU-based clothing companies. NPEs break down to form nonylphenol, a toxin with hormone-disrupting properties similar to BPA.
Black clothing and dyes for leathers often contain p-Phenylenediamine (PPD), which can produce allergic reactions. Flame retardants can appear in bedding and nightwear. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and dioxin-producing bleach are used by textile industries. Athletic shoes that contain cloth contain some of these toxins.
How to protect yourself
Read clothing labels and try to avoid synthetic materials such as Rayon, Nylon, Polyester, Acrylic, Acetate or Triacetate as much as possible. Also avoid no-iron, wrinkle free and preshrunk items.
Whenever that’s impossible, wash and dry those clothes three times before wearing. Use only safe, organic detergents from health food stores. Also, avoid those dryer sheets to prevent clinging unless you can find them without toxic chemicals.
Even used clothing purchased from thrift stores such as Goodwill may be sprayed with some skanky chemical 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.