Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Designer duds laced with chemicals

Photo: Worakit Sirijinda
It reads like a teen’s dream shopping list: Abercrombie & Fitch, Lacoste, Converse, Adidas, Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, H&M….but these top brands are being singled out for more than their designer cachet.

Greenpeace says that traces of toxic chemicals have been detected in products made by these and several other top clothing manufacturers.

The group tested 78 samples for their report “Dirty Laundry 2” and found that nonylphenol ethoxylates, also known as NPEs, were detected in two-thirds of the items. NPEs are used in some countries as detergents in the production of natural and synthetic textiles.

  "NPEs break down to form nonylphenol, which has toxic, persistent and hormone-disrupting properties," Greenpeace campaigner Li Yifang told journalists in Beijing. 

"It mimics female hormones, alters sexual development and affects reproductive systems." 

The group says that even at low levels, NPEs represents a threat to the environment and human health.

Residual levels of NPEs are reportedly released when the clothes are washed and are now present in countries even where their use is banned.


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