Jan 14

Hazardous Chemicals Revealed In Children’s Clothing

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toptipskidsbathtimefunChildren’s clothing and shoes by brands including Disney, Burberry and adidas have been shown to contain hazardous chemicals which could pose risks to adults and children when released into the environment, as revealed in a study released today by Greenpeace East Asia. [1]

Tests were carried out on 82 items sold by leading clothing brands including adidas, American Apparel, C&A, GAP, H&M, Li-Ning, Nike, Primark, Puma and Uniqlo and the findings revealed in the the report entitled “A Little Story About the Monsters in Your Closet”.

Chih An Lee, Toxics Campaigner at Greenpeace East Asia said:.

“As the starting point of the global clothing supply chain, the world needs to be aware of the dangerous corners being cut in manufacturing processes in regions like East Asia. Parents in particular should know the risks these brands are posing to future generations as they use and release these toxic hazardous monsters into our environment.”

More than half of the products tested contained nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs), a group of chemicals that break down in the environment to form toxic, hormone disrupting nonylphenol (NP). High levels were found in products made by brands including Burberry, Disney and American Apparel. Meanwhile, every item tested specifically for per / polyfluorinated compounds (PFCs) was found to contain one or more examples from this group of chemicals. [2] For example, an adidas swimsuit contained the highly persistent, PFOA at a concentration higher than the brand’s own limit in its Restricted Substance List. [3]

Though all products tested were intended for children and infants – a group particularly vulnerable to exposure to hazardous chemicals in the environment [4] – there was no significant difference between the range and levels of hazardous chemicals found in this study and those in previous studies looking at adults clothes [5].

“We need the brands to take a good hard look at their supply chain and the monsters they are using to make our children’s clothing. We also need people to recognise the power they have in bringing about change, by joining the growing movement making the industry Detox its supply chain and clean out clothes”, 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.