An estimated 8000 chemicals are used to transform raw materials into fabric. “Often, the clippings from fabric mills are so loaded with dangerous chemicals they are handled like toxic waste,” states German Chemist Michael Braungart, “while the products made from these materials are considered safe for use in the home.” Do we really want to be wrapped in sheets saturated with dangerous chemicals for 8 hours every night when we go to sleep?
Cotton is the most pesticide dependent crop grown anywhere in the world, and even more toxic chemicals are added to it at each stage of its production. Many of these toxins have been linked to a range of health problems including allergies, asthma, insomnia, immune disorders, Cancer, and neurological disorders.
Let’s look at some of the other harsh chemicals added to fabric, in addition to the pesticides and chemical fertilizers.
Chemicals Added to Produce Conventional Cotton Fabric
Harsh Petroleum Scours
Does Washing Eliminate Chemicals from Clothing?
As author Brian R. Clement, PhD, NMD, LN and his wife Anna Maria Celement, PhD, NMD, LN write in their book Killer Clothes, “As clothes containing these chemicals become worn with repeated washings and wear, the chemicals migrate from the fabric and become particles that can be absorbed or inhaled.”
Take formaldehyde for example. There are two types of formaldehyde in fabrics: Free and bound. The ‘Free’ type of formaldehyde is that which is not bound to fibers, and the ‘Bound’ type is formaldehyde is bound to fibers.
- In 1999, a team of Japanese scientists measured the quantity of free formaldehyde in twenty-seven noniron shirts, before and after washing and drying, everyday for six months. Before the 6 months of washing, about one-third of these shirts contained between 75ppm and 202ppm of free formaldehyde. After the 6 months of washing, the quantity of free formaldehyde in twelve of the shirts still exceeded 75pm, which means that bound formaldehyde in the fabric had continued to leach out over time. 3
Formaldehyde has been declared a carcinogen by the United States Government and yet it is still added to fabrics that come in contact with our skin everyday. When fabric that is not organic rests against human skin, chemicals within it are absorbed through the pores of the skin, and through the lungs.
Chemicals Absorbed Through Skin and Lungs
Here’s a study showing that our skin readily absorbs the chemicals from the fabric that touches it:
- Study: Morning Urine Samples were taken from ten children who wore either pajamas newly treated with a flame-retardant chemical brominated Tris, or older pajamas treated with brominated Tris but washed numerous times. Residue of brominated Tris was found in every urine sample tested. In a separate study, researchers were shocked to find that the total brominated Tris in a fabric only decreased from 5.8% to 5.1% of weight after more than fifty washings of the fabric! 1, 2
Thankfully, we have a beautiful solution to eliminate yet another potent source of chemicals from entering into our bodies!
Top 7 Reasons to Upgrade to Organic Clothing
1. No Chemical Absorbtion – Organic Fabrics are produced without the use of chemicals, so you no longer have to worry about absorbing carcinogenic chemicals into your body.
2. Heals the Environment – Organic Fabric reduces pesticide and other chemical use, and thereby helps to protect the environment.
3. Non-Genetically Modified – Unlike regular cotton, organic cotton is grown from Non-Genetically Modified cotton. This means that every time you buy organic, you’re saying “No to GMO’s!” and contributing to the termination of Monsanto, a company who has created a genetically modified version of cotton that is used in conventional cotton fabric.
4. Protects Farm Workers – Organic Cotton protects farm workers from being exposed to chemicals while farming the cotton crop.
5. Longer Lasting – Because organic fibers are not degraded by chemicals during growing and processing, organic clothing is sturdier and lasts much longer.
6. More Comfortable – Organic cotton fabric feels more comfortable to wear than conventional cotton because it is not treated with harsh chemicals during processing.
7. Sustainable – While non-organic fibers don’t biodegrade and accumulate in landfills, organic fibers are recyclable and completely biodegradable. Buying Organic Bedding supports a more sustainable future.
1,2. Blum, A, Gold, MD, and Ames, BN. Children Absorb Tris-BP Flame Retardant from Sleepwear: Urine Contains the Mutagenic Metabolite, 2,3-Dibromopropanol. Science. September 15, 1978;201:1020-23.
3. Masahiko, I. et al. Changes of Free Formaldehyde Quantity in Non-Iron Shirts by Washing and Storage. Journal of Health Science. 1999;45:412-17