Fact or Myth: Are Clothes Made with Synthetic Fibers Toxic Clothing and Hazardous to Your Health?

This is a FACT.

Clothing made from synthetic fibers — rayon, acrylic, polyester, spandex and olefin, for example — contains toxic chemicals that pose serious risks to your health. toxic clothing

Until the beginning of the 20th century, all clothing was made from natural fibers. But today, manufactures are making toxic clothing, using over 8,000 synthetic chemicals to produce the garments we wear on our bodies.

“The use of manmade chemicals [in clothing] is increasing,” says Dr. Richard Dixon, Head of the World Wildlife Federation (WWF) Scotland, “and at the same time we have warning signals that a variety of wildlife and human health problems are becoming more prevalent.”

Some of the toxins found in clothes with synthetic fibers include:

    • Formaldehyde
    • Brominated flame retardants
    • Perfluorinated chemicals (Teflon)

Many of these synthetic chemicals are geared toward keeping clothes wrinkle free so that people won’t need to iron. But are wrinkle-resistant clothes worth the risk of serious health problems when these toxic chemicals penetrate our skin?

Health complications associated with skin contact with the toxic chemicals in synthetic clothing include infertility…respiratory diseases..contact dermatitis…and cancer, to name just a few.

One of these thousands of chemicals used to produce synthetic fabric is formaldehyde – and this single chemical has been linked to a 30% increase in lung cancer.

Formaldehyde can be found in fabrics that are labeled as:

    • Anti-cling, anti-static, anti-shrink
    • Waterproof
    • Perspiration-proof
    • Moth-proof and mildew resistant
    • Chorine resistant

Most governments regulate formaldehyde levels in the toxic clothing we all wear; however, the United States government does not.

In the absence of governmental protection, health conscious consumers must take their own precautions. Be aware of the adverse effect that these multiple chemicals might have when interacting with each other and your skin.

When you can, choose clothing made from natural fibers such as:

    Cotton -preferably organic, though less than 1% of worldwide cotton production meets the organic standard.
    Flax-one of the strongest fibers found in nature.
    Hemp-some say its fibers are 4 times stronger than cotton!
    Silk-but be extra cautious about synthetic agents used to dye silk.
    Wool-if it’s not organic wool, it’s most likely contaminated with chemicals from the pesticides used to kill parasites.