Toxic chemicals in kids clothes
A new investigation by Greenpeace has found a broad range of hazardous chemicals in children’s clothing and footwear across 12 major clothing brands - American Apparel, C&A, Disney, GAP, H&M, Primark, Uniqlo, adidas, LiNing, Nike, Puma and Burberry.
A total of 82 children’s textile products were purchased in May and June 2013 in 25 countries/regions worldwide from flagship stores, or from other authorised retailers. They were manufactured in at least twelve different countries/regions.
All products were investigated for the presence of nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs); certain products were also analysed for phthalates, organotins, per/poly-fluorinated chemicals (PFCs), or antimony.
These chemicals are not only impacting on local communities – when they are released into rivers from the polluting factories in production centres like China and Indonesia – they are also escaping from people's clothes and through their washing machines to also pollute our local waterways.
Once released into the environment, the cocktail of hazardous chemicals found in this study can have seriously adverse effects on wildlife – some have even been known to make male fish take on female characteristics. What's more they can contaminate our bodies via food, air and water and pose health risks to humans, particularly to our immune, reproductive and hormonal systems.
Nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs) is a group of chemicals that break down in the environment to form the hazardous chemical nonylphenols (NP), which are known to be toxic, acting as hormone disruptors, and being both persistent (remaining in the environment for a long time) and bioaccumulative (building up in the tissue of humans and animals).
Phthalates are known to be toxic to reproductive development in mammals.
Polyflourinated chemicals have been found throughout the environment, even in remote regions. It can cause adverse impacts on the reproductive and immune systems, both during development and in adulthood.
Greenpeace’s Detox campaign calls for major clothing brands like Burberry to commit to zero discharge of all hazardous chemicals by 2020. Thanks to public pressure, 18 major brands have already made landmark Detox commitments and many are making significant progress towards their goals of supply chain transparency and chemical elimination.
Greenpeace is targetting 3 companies – Burberry, Disney and Adidas – with a twitter campaign. Supporters can tweet @burberry, @adidas and @disney asking them to detox from http://act.gp/1eleuSH
Download the full report - A Little Story About the Monsters In Your Closet
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