These clothes that poison our children

In: Textile et santé On: Posted By: Véronique COMBE Comment: 0 Hit: 456

Does your child have skin problems? And if the clothes he wears were the cause?

When you buy clothing for your child and you are interested in the label, you will notice that the information provided is often limited to the composition of the fabric and the washing conditions of it. Indeed, these are the only mandatory indications on clothing labels! 

But what about its provenance and additions of chemicals to make it more flexible, resistant, wrinkle-free, ...? 

When children's clothing is tested, there are many chemicals that are toxic to the body and the environment. Although concentrations may not be high, their multiplicity, prolonged contact with the skin or the cumulative effect of these products may still have an impact on health. Not to mention that these toxic substances are found most often in the environment.

1. Nonyphenol ethoxylates or nonylphenols (NPE) 

NPEs are generally present in industrial detergents and are used for washing textiles. They are toxic, bioaccumulative and persistent. 

They are endocrine disruptors. They accumulate in body tissues and affect fertility, reproduction and growth. 

2. Phthalates 

Often called plasticizers, they are generally used in the textile for plastisol prints, the rubbery material used to create designs or logos on T-shirts.  Phthalates are known endocrine disruptors, they can affect hormone levels. Studies have shown that they are responsible for early puberty in girls 6 to 8 years old and that prolonged exposure during pregnancy entails a tripled risk of congenital malformation in babies. 

In 2012, the NGO Greenpeace found in some children's clothing rates 370 times higher than the authorized limits.

3. Perfluorinated polyfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) 

PFCs are used to make waterproof textiles; they are also used to increase wrinkle and waterproof qualities.  PFCs are endocrine disruptors that interfere with the development of the thyroid gland and with estrogen.  On exposure in utero, they lead to delayed growth, development, changes in behavior, abnormal development of the mammary glands and a decrease in testosterone in males. 

4. Formaldehyde 

Formaldehyde is used to give the textile its crease-resistant quality.  Formaldehyde has been classified by the National Cancer Research Center (IARC) in group 1 "Carcinogenic substance proven to be human". This volatile and unhealthy gas easily comes into contact with the eyes, nose or throat and causes eye and respiratory irritation. Even low exposures can develop asthmatic pathologies and allergic sensitizations. The biggest danger of formaldehyde remains dermatitis allergy following contact (inflammation of the skin) or eczema.

5. The lead

Lead-based pigments are used for dyeing textiles (especially in bright colors). Lead exposure is often minimized because there are no visible symptoms. Lead poisoning can affect all body systems, including mental and physical development.

6. The dyes

Dyes found in clothing can cause allergic skin reactions (contact dermatitis), damage to the liver and kidneys. Azo dyes are the most dangerous.  

Environmental effects

During the production of clothing but also during repeated washing, all the chemical compounds contained in textiles are found in wastewater. Unfortunately, our treatment plants rarely manage to eliminate them. They are found in the environment and aquatic environments. Do you want to protect the nature and skin of your children? Organic clothing is the answer!

Sources :

GREENPEACE. « Dirty Laundry » : Part 1 (Juillet 2011), Part 2 (Août 2011) et Reloaded (Mars 2012)

Article du 19/06/2017 par Association Santé Environnement France – ASEF

Article du 27/07/2015 par Epoch Times

 

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