New study finds toxic chemicals in children’s clothing

New study finds toxic chemicals in children’s clothing

esting was carried out on products sold by 12 brands across the industry, including American Apparel, GAP, Primark and Nike for the report “A Little Story About the Monsters in Your Closet” [2]. The findings showed little distinction between the levels of hazardous chemicals in clothing made for children – a group particularly vulnerable to the effects of these chemicals when released into the environment [3] – and adults when compared to previous studies [4].

Chih An Lee, Detox Campaigner at Greenpeace East Asia, said:

“This is a nightmare for parents everywhere looking to buy clothes for their children that don’t contain hazardous chemicals. These chemical ‘little monsters’ can be found in everything from exclusive luxury designs to budget fashion, polluting our waterways from Beijing to Berlin. For the sake of current and future generations brands should stop using these monsters.”

Every brand tested was found to have products containing hazardous chemicals. Among the results one adidas swimsuit contained higher levels of PFOAs [5] than permitted in their own Restricted Substance List [6], while printed fabric on a Primark children’s t-shirt contained 11% phthalates [7]. Meanwhile, NPEs [8] were detected in at least 1 article from every brand with high levels in products made by brands including Disney, American Apparel and Burberry. Once released into the environment, many of these chemicals can have adverse impacts either on human reproductive, hormonal or immune systems.

“Parents, fashion fans and local communities can help end this toxic nightmare by speaking out against polluting brands. Thanks to global people power, some of the world’s biggest brands have already committed to Detox and many of them are already walking the talk towards supply chain transparency and the elimination of the worst chemicals.” said An Lee.

China remains the world’s largest textile producer and chemicals consumer and Greenpeace is calling on the government to help stop the use of hazardous chemicals in the textile industry. It is critical they publish a chemical blacklist to be acted upon immediately and urge factories to disclose chemical information, in order to facilitate chemical elimination and supply chain transparency and create a level playing field for the industry.

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