The NGO Greenpeace has revealed yesterday the presence of toxic substances in the products of 14 brands of clothing, manufactured in China and Southeast Asia. These substances can threaten the growth and fertility of the people in contact with these products.
In its report Dirty Laundry 2 (“Dirty Laundry 2”), the NGO Greenpeace announced the results of the analysis of 78 garments. Of 52 items from brands (see list below), nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPE) were detected well above the accepted limit – one milligram per kilogram. Some products, such as Abercrombie & Fitch brand and Converse, reaching peaks respectively 1100 and 2700 mg / kg. The vast majority of relevant articles were manufactured in China, Bangladesh and Southeast Asia (Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia).
WHAT ARE THE RISKS FOR MAN?
NPEs do not occur naturally, their presence is only a result of human activity. Several scientific studies have shown that repeated contact with them, man and animals can experience hormonal disturbances, especially at the reproductive organs. Growth and fertility are threatened. NPEs have as property to be “persistent” presence accumulates, reaching significant proportions. However, among the products tested, many are clothes that close to the body – such as underwear or sportswear – increasing the impregnation to the human body of these toxic substances. It is also noteworthy that the rate of NPE by clothing is not revealing who is present during manufacture: for Chinese workers, Vietnamese or Malaysian, health risks are even higher.
WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES FOR THE ENVIRONMENT?
The ecological impact is also alarming. On 13 July, Greenpeace published an initial report (Dirty Laundry 1) on the Chinese river pollution caused by the use of NPEs in two Chinese factories partner of most major brands at issue. Puma and Nike had committed, after publication, to eliminate these toxic products of their production by 2020. But the problem is not limited only to China, Greenpeace said. When clothes are washed in the machine in our country, NPE contaminate the water and rivers, before reaching the fish and landed on our plates.
Brands list: Abercrombie & Fitch, Adidas, Calvin Klein, Converse, G-Star Raw, H & M, Kappa, Lacoste, Li Ning, Nike, Puma, Ralph Lauren, Uniqlo and Youngor. Also tested by Greenpeace, the brand GAP has revealed a rate of NPE below 1 mg / kg.