This article is from Natural News, I am giving you the abridged version, for the whole article go to Natural News…
Recently Greenpeace announced at the launch of its report “Dirty Laundry 2″ that traces of toxic chemicals have been detected in products made by 14 big brand top clothing manufacturers.
These chemicals, called nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs), are commonly used as detergents in industries including the production of natural and synthetic textiles. NPEs break down to form nonylphenol, a dangerous toxin that has persistent and hormone-disrupting properties. This toxin has been proven to mimic female hormones, alter sexual development and affect reproductive systems.
Greenpeace said it purchased 78 different branded clothing samples (most of them made in China, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines) from 18 countries around the world and subjected them to careful scientific analysis. NPEs were detected in two-thirds of the samples the group tested, including popular brands such as Calvin Klein, Adidas, Converse, Ralph Lauren, Abercrombie & Fitch, Bauer Hockey, Cortefiel, Uniqlo, Gap, H&M, Lacoste, Nike, Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation (PVH Corp) and Puma. During the course of the past year, Greenpeace has found that all of these commonly purchased brands are linked to two specific manufacturers.
The issue of toxic chemicals in clothing is not only a problem for the developing countries where textiles are made. Since residual levels of NPEs are released when clothes are washed, these chemicals are now inching their way into countries where their use is banned or avoided.
The danger of NPEs
Certain components of NPEs have been involved in the widespread “feminization” of male fish in parts of Europe and also in the disruption of hormone processes in some mammals, according to the campaign group WWF. Even at low levels, this toxin represents a big threat to the environment and to human health. It is no coincidence that use of NPEs is completely restricted in Europe.
Our skin is our largest organ and what we put on it our bodies literally drink in. Everything we consume – including the chemicals that linger on and in our clothing – either gets assimilated or eliminated. Chemical toxins we expose our skin to through our clothing and skincare/body products can tax our bodies in a major way.
NPEs can certainly contribute to the increasing incidence of health problems linked to hormonal disturbances.
All of our modern-day toxic overload concerns should be considered against the backdrop of a monumental biological shift. Only 150 years ago, girls got their first period at around age 15 or 16 and went through menopause in their late 30s and 40s. However, in modern times girls often begin puberty as early as 9 and menopause generally does not occur until around 50.
Not only have we increasingly begun pushing and trifling with our bodies in ways we never did before, but our environments are also becoming increasingly toxic in ways we are often not fully aware of. This is evident when noting the fact that the period in which women’s bodies go through a series of significant hormonal shifts has extended over a much longer period of time, increasing not only their fertile years, but also their chances of getting breast cancer. Toxic chemical exposure through household products, our modern food supply, beauty/care products and clothing certainly all play into this.
The alarming truth about clothing factories
In the past, Greenpeace became concerned by the amount of water used to make the majority of our clothing. On average, fiber for one cotton t-shirt requires 713 gallons of water to make, and traditional wet-dye methods for clothing use from seven to 75 gallons of water per pound of fabric. All this adds up to trillions of gallons of water each year passing through textile factories merely for dyeing alone.
Now Greenpeace has gone on to prove that the water leaves the factories polluted with heavy metals and toxic chemicals that cause serious health problems to animals and people. Recently “Dirty Laundry” has outright accused the manufacturers of well-known textile brands such as Adidas of polluting major rivers in China with chemical waste.
The practices of two of China’s major textile dye factories were closely examined within the details the company released of its year-long investigation. To gather the information Greenpeace campaigners wore protective suits and collected water samples from outside the factories being carefully analyzed. The results clearly showed that toxins are spilling into China’s rivers on a daily basis.
Clothing companies respond — or do they?
Most of the international brands found to be tainted with these toxins have denied using the dye services at either of the two guilty factories, saying that they are only “cut and sew” customers for these locations. However, that does not change the fact that the practices of these two factories are typical of what you’ll find all over China – where most of our clothing is made — and anywhere else wet-dyeing is used in the production of clothes
These toxins are unnecessary harm to our lives
The Greenpeace report is an important step toward educating people about just how hazardous the textile industry is. It’s also a good method of putting necessary pressure on big name brands who claim to want to be eco-friendly (and have the resources available) to move the apparel industry into a non-toxic future. You can sign the Detox Now! petition here:http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/campaigns/toxics/water/det…
Synthetic textiles don’t need water in order to absorb dyes properly. The high temperatures these textiles require to get the fibers to take on colors can be achieved without using water at all. This means that these popular apparel brands DO have choices in the matter and could easily eliminate the toxins used to dye their shoes, shirts, and other products.