We all know to avoid GM foods and prioritize organic food as much as possible, but not all of us are usually concerned about what we put on.
Over 8000 synthetic chemicals are being used in global fashion manufacturing, including carcinogens and hormone disruptors. In addition, synthetic clothes contain many toxins, such as formaldehyde, heavy metals, PFCs, thermoplastic, and others.
Have you ever thought how it impacts our health?
The purpose of our skin is to protect our body from water loss, harmful microorganisms, irritants, and injuries, and it is an essential barrier against exposure to environmental contaminants. But the skin, which is constantly being bombarded by the vast amount of hazardous chemicals, is not always able to protect our bodies. These chemicals appear on our skin, enter our bodies, and are found in our urine. Unfortunately, this route to human chemical exposure has been underestimated and forgotten for a while.
Most polyester is manufactured with antinomy. Antinomy is a toxic carcinogen to the heart, lungs, liver, and skin. Formaldehyde is added to clothing to prevent the fabric from shrinking. According to the EU classification, formaldehyde is a class 3 carcinogen. Synthetic materials such as acrylic, nylon, and polyester are made from chemicals such as thermoplastic, which off-gas plastic molecules when heated in the clothes dryer or by body heat. Perfluorochemicals (PFCs), which are added to clothing for wrinkle and stain resistance, accumulate in the body and are believed to damage the reproductive system. Phthalates are frequently used in activewear, sports clothing, and plastic decorations for accessories. They have been found to be cancerous and linked to hormone disruption.
So, how can we limit our chemical exposure?
First, avoid fast fashion. Fast fashion clothing is often manufactured in developing countries that may not have stringent standards for keeping harmful chemicals out of clothing.
Second, look for sustainable brands that prioritize natural fibers and materials and keep a lookout for chemical keywords such as “stain-resistant,” “waterproof,” and “shrink-proof.” Also, look for brands that complete product safety compliance through organizations like Oeko-Tex, which sets restricted substance limits in each article of clothing based on progressive international regulations.