Toxic chemicals in top brands of children’s clothing

January 15, 2014 - 6:15:16 am

HAMBURG: Leading environment group Greenpeace said yesterday that it had found a variety of toxic chemicals in children’s clothing made by major global fashion brands.

The chemicals don’t pose a direct health risk but are dangerous when released into nature, warned the organisation. Children are more vulnerable to their adverse effects.

Following testing of children’s clothing and shoes made by 12 global fashion brands, several hazardous chemicals had been found in 82 pieces.

Testing had been carried out as part of Greenpeace’s Detox campaign and on products sold by Adidas, Burberry, Disney, GAP, Primark and Nike among others.

Every brand tested was found to have products containing hazardous chemicals , Greenpeace said, including, for example, nonylphenol ethoxylates, which break down in the environment to form hormone-disrupting chemicals, as well as cancer-causing perfluoroctane acid.

In others, traces of phthalates had been found, which may damage fertility and unborn children, Greenpeace added.

“These chemicals can be found in everything from exclusive luxury designs to budget fashion,” Greenpeace chemicals expert Manfred Santen told a news conference in Hamburg.

Noting that there was no difference in levels found in children’s clothing and those in adult fashion, Santen said that children were especially vulnerable to the adverse affects of chemicals.

He also said that the toxic threads didn’t pose an immediate health risk, but would impact the human reproductive, hormonal and immune systems when released into the environment.

Under its Detox campaign, Greenpeace has forged an alliance of 18 fashion brands, including Mango and H&M, which have promised to stop the use of toxic chemicals in their products by 2020.

The organisation has now called on China, which is the world’s largest textile producer, to help facilitate chemical elimination and supply chain transparency for the industry.

Agencies

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