Warning: Your New Clothes Contain Harmful Chemicals!


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By Kirsten Cowart

Did you know that thousands of chemicals are used in the manufacturing of clothing?  

Researchers from Stockholm University decided to conduct a study to see if those chemicals are still in the clothes when you buy them and if there are health risks.  

What the researchers found is that your clothing, including organic cotton, contain toxic textile chemicals.

The study included 60 garments from international clothing chains, including Sweden.  The tests relieved around 100 chemicals in the new clothes. There were even some chemicals found that were not listed by the textile manufacturers, though the researchers believe that the additional chemicals were the result of residues that may have gotten on the clothing during transportation.  

Clothing Can Increase Allergies

“Exposure to these chemicals increases the risk of allergic dermatitis, but more severe health effect for humans as well as the environment could possibly be related to these chemicals. Some of them are suspected or proven carcinogens and some have aquatic toxicity,” says Giovanna Luongo, Ph.D. from the Analytical Chemistry department at Stockholm University.

Based on the toxicity and quantity of the chemicals, 4 groups were chosen for further analysis. There were two groups that had the highest concentrations on the clothes: quinolines and aromatic amines, which are found in polyester. Cotton was also found to have high levels of benzothiazoles, even if it was organic.

What If The Clothes Are Washed?

Researchers tried a test to see if washing the clothes would make the clothes safe for human use. What they found is that some of the chemicals washed off and even risked ending up in nearby aquatic environments.

Other chemicals remained in high quantities on the clothes, regardless of washing. This increases the chances of the toxins being absorbed into your skin from the long term exposure. It is a bit hard to test how much the toxins can hurt you over time, but the chemicals are already known to be bad for human contact.

“We have only scratched the surface, this is something that has to be dealt with. Clothes are worn day and night during our entire life. We must find out if textile chemicals go into our skin and what it means to our health. It is very difficult to assess and requires considerably more research,” says Conny Östman, Professor in Analytical Chemistry.

Your skin is a huge absorption site for your body. You have to be careful about what you put on it and what you wear. More research is needed by scientists, but we hope that we can either get the manufacturing process to change or find alternatives very soon.

In the meantime, it’s possible that you may need to start getting handmade items that haven’t been in contact with the modern clothing market in order to avoid adding more toxins into your body. Do you have any other thoughts about how such a problem can be safely avoided? Feel free to share in the comments below.

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Kirsten Campbell
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Kirsten Campbell

Kirsten Cowart is a writer and researcher that has worked in the spiritual, mental health and medical fields.Kirsten enjoys studying and experiencing the benefits of yoga, meditation, nutrition, herbalism, organic gardening and alternative health.She worked hard in 2014 losing over 40 lbs. and has since maintained a healthy lifestyle.Follow her to learn more about her journey on Twitter, Facebook & Youtube!
Kirsten Campbell
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