Friday, December 10, 2010

What's in your shirt?

When you go to the store, do you think about if the items you are purchasing contain toxic chemicals? Probably not! Most people believe that our government wouldn't allow anything that's unsafe to be on the market. This belief couldn't be further from the truth.

For example, I was reading an article today on wrinkle-free shirts containing formaldehyde. This was not an article from some environmental group with an agenda. It was written by the Dean of Duke University's Environmental School. The author points out that

"no-iron shirt companies agree that formaldehyde is a dangerous chemical, but they claim the amount of formaldehyde we no-iron-shirt wearers are exposed to each day is too small to matter... but if we use the strictest standard of less than 75 parts per million (ppm) for products that have direct contact with skin — a standard that comes courtesy of the 13 countries that regulate formaldehyde amounts in fabrics (the United States not among them) — we find a different story. Almost every study that has looked at formaldehyde levels in clothing or bedding has found some items with levels above this cutoff... with the highest levels found in dress shirts for men."

Would you have ever thought that your shirt could have the potential to give you cancer?

Why is it that thirteen other countries have regulations in place to protect their citizens against the dangers of formaldehyde (a known carcinogen) but not the US? This isn't the only case... regulations for toy safety are much higher in the EU, Japan does not allow BPA in the lining of their canned foods, and so on. In my humble opinion, the chemical companies are able to sway the government with their mighty dollars.

So where does that leave us? In my opinion, the burden of researching what's in the products we purchase falls to us consumers. That's why I write this blog -to share my research in hopes that it can enlighten you and help keep your family healthier. Hopefully by making "safer choices" we're also able to influence the marketplace with our dollars and send the message that we care about our health and want to support companies that do as well.

As for me... I've got ironing to do!

No comments:

Post a Comment