Clothing clings to our skin, the largest organ of the body. Toxic chemicals are used excessively for processing garment fibers and also for manufacturing clothes. When these chemicals come in contact with our skin, we can soak them up like a sponge.
There are several chemicals in clothing that can have a negative effect on our health. Here are just a few of them and why they can be harmful:
Formaldehyde is frequently used after clothing is made to keep them from wrinkling or developing mildew during shipping. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen (cancer-causing chemical).
Perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) are used in “wrinkle free” and ”no-iron” clothing. PFCs, just like formaldehyde are carcinogenic.
Nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs) are commonly used as detergents in textile industries. NPEs break down to form nonylphenol, a toxin with hormone-disrupting properties similar to BPA in plastics.
Virtually all clothing is treated with synthetic chemicals. Although toxins can be present in clothing for the life of the garment, it is a good idea to wash all new clothing prior to wearing them for the first time. This will help wash away these chemicals when concentrations are at their highest.