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Why avoid toxic chemicals in fabrics is important

It’s a very simple concept, many of our clothes are treated with chemicals that can harm our health, that’s it.

I’ve thought to bring to you a shortlist of the most dangerous chemicals that you can find in your clothes.

It will be clear why it’s important to avoid these kind of substances.

1) Chlorinated solvents

The Chlorinated solvents include the trichloroethane (TCE) a chemical used to prepare fabrics for a more efficient dyeing.

Why TCE is harmful for the health:

Because it affects the human central-nervous system, the liver and the kidneys.

2) Nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEO) & Nonylphenol (NP)

NPEO and NP are used in industrial detergents, in order to scour wool and leather. You can find the NPEO and the NP in a wide range of fashion products, such as the outsole of shoes, jelly sandals, and plastic and rubber components used for apparel, footwear and accessories.

Why NPEO & NP are harmful for the health:

The NPEO degrade into NP and when you throw in the environment a garment that has these chemicals, it became dramatically toxic for aquatic organisms.

This chemical can accumulate in the body tissue of fishes and you will going to find it in the food chain.

At certain exposure levels the NP can disrupt sexual development.

3) Azo dyes

Azo dyes is contained in 60% to 80% of all colorants. It’s used in a wide range of products, from apparel to footwear and accessories.

Why Azo dyes is harmful for the health:

The Azo dyes can easily stay in contact with the skin, and release chemicals (some kind of aromatic amines) that can cause cancer or dermatitis.

4) Heavy metals

There are 5 very toxic heavy metals used in textiles, antimony, cadmium, lead, mercury and chromium VI. These chemicals can be found in cotton, synthetic fibres and leather.

Why heavy metals are harmful for the health:

These heavy metals can be absorbed by our body and be accumulated in the liver or kidney; high levels of heavy metals can damage the nervous system and provoke cancer.

Well i just wanted to give you an idea of the chemicals that can be seriously dangerous for the health, and the environment, in Europe most of these toxic chemicals are strictly forbidden; if you are interested in read more about these chemicals you can click here .

On the other hand is possible to find ethical brands that use natural fabrics that won’t harm your health, such as:

Elisa Sanna


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Shift to nature