Are Your Clothes Making You Sick?
With every form of industry slashing costs and utilizing potentially dangerous new manufacturing technologies in an attempt to monetize and reduce workload, many of these companies are putting your health at risk. Such is the case with the clothing industry according to new research, which asks the question as to whether or not your clothes may be making you sick.
Some corporations have begun embedding something known as antimicrobial compounds into a number of common products including toothpaste, hand soaps, and even items within the clothing industry. The antimicrobial compounds are added to kill germs and odors, which appears to be beneficial at first glance. The truth of the matter, however, is that scientists have found that these antimicrobial chemicals may actually be damaging your thyroid in addition to your hormonal system.
Triclosan, Nanoparticles Added to Clothing Pose Health & Environmental Risk
Furthermore, these antimicrobial compounds do not really pack a powerful anti-odor or anti-germ punch. In fact, the antimicrobials added into premium brand name clothing items are actually the same as washing with soap and water. These products are sometimes loaded with harsh antibacterial agents such as triclosan, and trichlorocarban. Silver can also be used in nanoparticle form, which are tiny particles that can cross the blood-brain barrier. Prominent health professionals have warned against products containing nanoparticles due to the fact that the technology has never been thoroughly tested for effects on human health.
These two chemicals were found to begin washing out of the clothing quickly, and within around 10 washes half of the triclosan and triclocarban washed out. What this means is that the chemicals could easily be absorbed into your skin as a result of sweating or even from water touching the antimicrobial clothing. Washed out chemicals can also negatively impact the environment after passing through water treatment plants, posing a risk to wildlife, humans, and the food supply. The Swedish Chemical Agency, where researchers conducted the tests, also warned that children could absorb the microbial compounds which could negatively impact their developing bodies.
How to Avoid These Products
Luckily, there are key indicators to look for that will help you avoid clothing loaded with antimicrobial compounds. Avoid homeware products and clothing marketed as anti-odor, antimicrobial, or antibacterial, and avoid personal care products that list triclosan or trichlorocarban on the ingredients label.
For optimum results, purchase 100% organic personal care products and clothing if possible. You can vote with your dollar, and you can deliver a message to companies adding health-threatening chemicals to their products by simply not buying them.
Natural Society staff contribution