Monsters In Our Closets!

Greenpeace reveals more details about toxic chemicals in clothing:

A new investigation by Greenpeace has found a broad range of hazardous chemicals in children’s clothing and footwear across a number of major clothing brands, including fast fashion, sportswear and luxury brands.

The study follows on from several previous investigations published by Greenpeace as part of its Detox campaign, which identified that hazardous chemicals are present in textile and leather products as a result of their use during manufacture. It confirms that the use of hazardous chemicals is still widespread – even during the manufacture of clothes for children and infants.


Despite the fact that all the products purchased were for children and infants, there was no significant difference between the range and levels of hazardous chemicals found in this study compared to previous studies analysing those chemicals.

“Many hazardous chemicals are known to accumulate in our bodies; some of these have known hazardous properties and the potential to cause adverse health effects.
The use of hazardous chemicals in children’s clothing leads to the release of such chemicals into the environment, either during manufacturing or from the products directly”


More info here:

Download A Little Story About the Monsters In Your Closet.

Download the accompanying Technical Report.


We should all be able to dress ourselves and our children without suffering adverse health effects from the clothing we buy, or needing a chemistry degree and chemical meters to determine if what is for sale is safe to wear!


Greenpeace has several actions you can take here:

The Mind the Store campaign asks retailers to drop toxic products

You can buy organic clothing that is GOTS certified


What if we are so ‘sensitive’ to pollution now that we need to detox chemicals from clothing so that we have something to wear?

How to get rid of chemicals in fabrics. (Hint: trick question.)

Laundry Decontamination Protocols

Safer Clothing Options


Snippets from the report:

Where NPEs are released, including from textile manufacture facilities or through the laundering of textile products, either directly into surface waters or via wastewater treatment facilities, they can break down to form nonylphenol (NP), a closely-related group of persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic chemicals (OSPAR 2004, Jobling et al. 1996).

Phthalates are commonly found in human tissues, including in blood, breast milk and, as metabolites, in urine (Colon et al. 2000, Blount et al. 2000, Silva et al. 2004, Guerranti et al. 2012), with reports of significantly higher levels of intake in children (Koch et al. 2006) In humans and other animals, they are relatively rapidly metabolised to their monoester forms, but these are frequently more toxic than the parent compound (Dalgaard et al. 2001).
Substantial concerns exist with regard to the toxicity of phthalates to wildlife and humans

Polyester fabrics contain residues of antimony trioxide used in their manufacture, with commercial polyester fibres typically containing up to 300 mg/kg antimony (Duh 2002, Lacasse & Baumann 2004). Residues of antimony have also been reported in clothing articles containing polyester fibres, with concentrations in the range 1 – 200 mg/kg (Laursen et al. 2003, Greenpeace 2012c, Kemi 2013).
Antimony shows many similarities in its chemistry and toxicity to arsenic (Andrewes et al. 2004, Patterson et al. 2003).


4 responses to “Monsters In Our Closets!

  1. Thanks Linda. Best, Maie

    • I love that Greenpeace (and ecotextiles) have been doing all the work they are doing to make this information more common knowledge.

      And I wish I wasn’t so “sensitive” to trace levels which trigger some bad fibro flares.

  2. Reblogged this on Eaarth Animist and commented:
    A real horror story about your kids’ (and your) closet

  3. Related:
    Sweden submits a report under REACH, urging EU restriction of certain chemicals in textile articles

    Since 2005, the use of NPs and NPEs, in concentrations of 0.1% or more, is restricted within the European Union in the manufacturing of textiles. However, a majority of textiles purchased within the EU are imported from manufacturers and suppliers outside the EU, including from Hong Kong and mainland China. Sweden claims that these suppliers still use NPs and NPEs today, for example as a detergent or as an emulsifying agent, in the manufacturing of their textiles. After being imported into the European Union, the textile articles will be washed and residues of NPs and NPEs will be released into waste water. Eventually, these toxic substances will end up in the aquatic environment. NPs enter the aquatic life directly as NPs, or as breakdown products from NPEs.

    Sweden’s main concern is the protection of the environment from these toxic substances. NPs are toxic and hormone-disrupting substances that may cause long-term adverse effects to the aquatic environment.

    (and humans)

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