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Toxic Chemicals in Popular Children’s Clothing Brands

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Toxic Chemicals in Popular Children’s Clothing Brands

It’s the kind of deal you don’t want to score while out shopping for your kids – a cute, new shirt that comes with a host of invisible “little monsters” clinging to it. Greenpeace coined this phrase to describe the residual toxic chemicals that poison our children’s new clothing, left over from the manufacturing process. The same chemical levels exist in adult clothing, too, but children are far more vulnerable to their adverse effects on human reproduction, hormonal and immune systems. When these clothes are washed, the chemical run-off also contaminates the water supply.

Greenpeace tested 12 major clothing brands (a total of 82 children’s textile products), including companies such as American Apparel, Disney, Adidas, Burberry, Primark, GAP, Puma, C&A and Nike. Every brand contained toxic chemicals – perfluorated chemicals (PFCs), phthalates, nonylphenol, nonylphenol ethoxylate (NPE), and cadmium. According to Greenpeace’s press release:

“One Adidas swimsuit contained higher levels of PFOAs [a type of PFC] than permitted on their own Restricted Substance List, while printed fabric on a Primark children’s t-shirt contained 11% phthalates. Meanwhile, NPEs were detected in at least 1 article from every brand with high levels in products made by brands including Disney, American Apparel, and Burberry.”

Greenpeace has launched a campaign called Detox, calling on the fashion industry and textile producers to stop using hazardous chemicals. The Detox campaign, which has been going on for two years, has successfully convinced major brands such as Zara, H&M, Valentino, Mango, Victoria’s Secret, and Levis to clean up their acts. In the past two weeks, both Burberry and Primark have bowed to public pressure and signed a Detox commitment. This means they will adhere to zero discharge of all hazardous chemicals by 2020 and require textile suppliers to disclose releases of toxic chemicals from their facilities to the public and communities who live near the site of water pollution.

How can you help join the fight for toxic-free fashion? Keep reading for 5 ideas

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Read more: Beauty, Children, Family, Fashion, Smart Shopping, Teens

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1:47PM PST on Mar 2, 2014


2:50AM PST on Mar 1, 2014

Now that's just wrong!

8:08PM PST on Feb 26, 2014


8:50PM PST on Feb 25, 2014

Thank you.

5:04PM PST on Feb 25, 2014

It is downright sickening to think that the clothes you are buying for your children are full of toxic chemicals. Where are the scruples of these companies? It goes to show that we have to be diligent in researching everything these days. You can't take anything for granted in terms of it being safe, natural, healthy, etc., etc. Everyone wants the best for their children and for their families. We have to hold companies accountable for providing safe ingredients, no matter what it is, whether it's clothing, food, housing materials, etc.

8:35AM PST on Feb 25, 2014


3:58AM PST on Feb 25, 2014


2:33AM PST on Feb 25, 2014

I have to give a high five to the author of this post for not only sharing the problem, but also ways to combat it. Now, if only more people would become aware of issues like this and take an active role rather than shopping by price alone.

1:03AM PST on Feb 25, 2014

Ridiculous. Why is the question? Monsanto...maybe...

8:19PM PST on Feb 24, 2014

Should be okay after washing

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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