Chemicals Odors Found in New Clothing
Fashion can be fun, but most clothing sold today contains toxic chemicals that can be harmful to your health.Because these chemicals are easily released from the clothing into the air, you are exposed to them with every breath you take while wearing toxic textiles.
Here are three toxic chemicals commonly found on clothing made by top brands and sold in department and discount stores.
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) is used to make “vinyl” jackets, shoes, and purses. Vinyl is also used on printed t-shirts that have shiny ink.
PVC is a solid plastic made from vinyl chloride, made softer and more flexible by the addition of phthalates. Vinyl chloride is known to cause cancer in humans, and can also cause nerve damage, immune reactions, and other serious health effects in high enough doses. Most phthalates can cause birth defects and reproductive problems.
Clothing and accessories are made from soft PVC, which releases toxic gasses.PVC is so toxic that environmental groups such as Greenpeace and Center for Health, Environmental & Justice recommend against using PVC, so much so that they have compiled lists of alternatives for common PVC products. Greenpeace calls PVC “the poison plastic” and has determined it to be the most toxic plastic of all.
How to identify if Formaldehyde is used in new clothing
Formaldehyde is another toxic chemical used in textiles that are released from clothing into the air you breathe. The easiest use to identify is the “permanent-press” finish (also called “no-iron” and “wrinkle-free”). Any cotton clothing with this term on the label and all polyester/cotton clothing is treated with a resin that prevents the fabric from creasing and also releases formaldehyde.
But there is another use of formaldehyde that is more widespread and not so easy to identify: formaldehyde is also used to keep garments looking new and fresh while in transit, and to retard mildew growth.
Use of formaldehyde on clothing is not regulated, nor does it require a warning label, though formaldehyde releases are regulated and require warning labels on other products. The State of California designated formaldehyde as a toxic air contaminant (TAC) in 1992 with no safe level of exposure. The major toxic effects caused by exposure to formaldehyde are problems with eyes and the respiratory system—from slight to strong irritation to coughing, wheezing, chest pains and bronchitis. In 2011, the National Toxicology Program named formaldehyde as a known human carcinogen in its 12th Report on Carcinogens.
What is the Government doing about formaldehyde in clothing?
Consumer Protection investigated the issue when it was raised in 2007. They tested clothing, and looked at how other countries dealt with formaldehyde in clothing. Their findings are given in the following media release and reports:
Synthetic Fragrances and Chemicals in New Clothing
Synthetic Fragrance is another toxic exposure that is not on the label but is easy to smell. It seems to be getting more and more common for manufacturers or stores to add a scent to clothing, which doesn’t come out easily with ordinary washing.
Virtually all of the ingredients used to make synthetic fragrances are derived from petrochemicals, many of them listed on the Hazardous Waste List compiled by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). These chemicals cause cancer, nervous system malfunctions, respiratory problems, hormone disruption, and other health effects.
Environmental Working Group researchers found more than 75 percent of products listing the ingredient “fragrance” contained phthalates which have been shown to disrupt hormone activity, reduce sperm counts, and cause reproductive malformation. Phthalates have also been linked to liver and breast cancer, diabetes, and obesity. Studies by Dr. Philip J. Landrigan of the Mount Sinai Children’s Environmental Health Center link fetal exposure with autism, ADHD, and neurological disorders.
It just isn’t possible to know the toxic chemicals used to make fragrances that are applied to clothing items, yet they are outgassing toxic chemicals that affect our health. Fragrances are legally considered a “special ingredient,” which allows manufacturers to combine all the ingredients used to make fragrance into the single term “fragrance” on cosmetic product labels, but it’s not required to be on the label at all for textile products.
What can you do? Obviously, it’s best to avoid these chemicals when you can as much as possible. Vinyl products are easy o recognize and “vinyl” often appears on he label of products made from it. Formaldehyde resins can be easily avoided by watching out for labels that say “permanent press,” ”no-iron,” or “wrinkle-free.” And you can smell fragrances added to clothing, but it’s difficult to find any clothing that isn’t scented these days. Some will wash out after a few rounds in the washer, others won’t.
Removing Chemical Odors from New Clothing & Linens
Chemical odors in new clothing and linens are not just dangerous for those with chemical sensitivities and environmental illnesses but for those with allergies, respiratory illnesses, and asthma as well. Constant exposure to chemical odors can lead to respiratory and pulmonary illnesses and formation of allergies. Traditional detergent are not designed to remove chemical odors from clothing but rather mask them with fragrance and perfumes which can cause additional health risks and complications.
The EnviroKlenz Laundry enhancer was designed to remove chemical odors from clothing and linens without the use of masking agents, perfumes, or toxic chemicals. The enhancer is used along with your normal detergent to neutralize the chemical odors on contact while being safe enough to use by the most sensitive consumer. Since the EnviroKlenz laundry enhancer technology is broad spectrum it may be used on a whole host of odors which range from chemical odors, fragrances, mold and mildew odors, and malodors. To learn more about the EnviroKlenz laundry enhancer click the buy button below.
Our Recommended Solution…
The EnviroKlenz Laundry Enhancer was designed to safely and effectively remove stubborn laundry odors such as chemicals, fragrances, and musty/mildew smell. Safe clothing can be a huge dilemma for those with MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivities) and ES (Environmental Sensitivities), thus come in the EnviroKlenz Laundry Enhancer! This enhancer will be your secret weapon to expelling strong odor & chemical smells from your fabrics!
- Safe to Use on Cotton, Delicates, Nylon, Polyester, Spandex, Washable Wool, and any Other Fabrics That are Wash Cycle Safe!
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- Use Warm Water, High Agitation Cycle
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