Toxic Chemicals Found in Branded Clothing
Greenpeace in China reported that it has founded toxic chemicals in branded clothing made by 14 big clothes makers. The organization says these chemicals are harmful to human health and the environment. Greenpeace tested clothing made by top brands such as Ralph Lauren, Converse, Lacoste, Calvin Klein and Adidas. It found that 66% of the samples were contaminated with chemicals called nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs).
NPEs are commonly utilized as detergents in the textile industry. NPEs break down into nonylphenol, a chemical with toxic and hormone-disrupting properties. This chemical affects reproduction and sexual development, and mimics some female hormones.
Analysis of Clothing Samples
Greenpeace bought 78 samples of branded clothing made in the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam and China and sold in 18 countries worldwide. Scientific analysis of these clothing samples lead to the discovery of toxic chemicals in them. Greenpeace says even low levels of NPEs are a huge threat to human health and the environment.
Adidas Store Targeted
The problem is not restricted to the third-world nations where the clothing is made. NPEs are released after washing, hence they are a threat to any place where the clothes are used. These chemicals are banned or restricted in many countries. This report led to activists storming an Adidas store located in Hong Kong, protesting against the use of harmful chemicals in Adidas products.
Polluted Chinese Rivers
Last month also Adidas had been criticized in a Greenpeace report. The organization says many top clothing brands are polluting major Chinese rivers with toxic chemical waste. Water samples from Pearl River and Yangtze deltas contained hazardous chemicals says Greenpeace.
Adidas Yet to Promise
Since then, Puma and Nike have pledged to stop using harmful chemicals in their clothing by 2020. But, Adidas has not made any such promise. Adidas has asked its accused Chinese supplier to investigate the claims made by Greenpeace. The company says it has a “comprehensive policy” about avoiding harmful substances.