How big brands are making consumers unwitting accomplices in the toxic water cycle

28 11 2012

 http://www.greenpeace.org/international/Global/international/publications/toxics/Water%202012/ToxicThreads01.pdf

A total of 141 items of clothing were purchased in April 2012 in 29 countries and regions worldwide from authorised retailers. These were manufactured in at least 18 different countries, mainly in the Global South, according to the garments’ labels. However, the place of manufacture was not identified for 25, which is symptomatic of an industry that is not as transparent about its manufacturing practices as it should be. The garments, designed for men, women, and children, included jeans, trousers, t-shirts, dresses, and underwear, and were made from both artificial and natural fibres; 31 of the samples bore a plastisol print, and for these items it was this part of the fabric that was tested for phthalates and nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs). The chemicals found included high levels of toxic phthalates2 in four of the garments, and cancer-causing
amines from the use of certain azo dyes3 in two garments. NPEs were found in 89 garments (just under two thirds of those tested), showing little difference from the results
of the previous investigation into the presence of these substances in sports clothing that was conducted in 2011.4 In addition, the presence of many other different types of potentially hazardous industrial chemicals was discovered across a number of the products tested. As inherently hazardous substances, any use of NPEs, phthalates, or azo dyes that can release cancer causing amines, is unacceptable.5

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