Many Dyes Used In Clothing Are Known Carcinogens

Many Dyes Used In Clothing Are Known Carcinogens

Organic clothing certified to accredited standards helps to ensure the natural fibers are cultured sustainably and ensures the manufacturing and processing have been conducted in an eco friendly manner.

There are many problems associated with traditional textile dying methods. To start, most fibers are bleached white using chlorine. When emitted into local water systems, chlorine combines with organic matter to form trihalomethanes (THMs), a class of carcinogenic compounds that are incredibly dangerous to humans and wildlife alike.

After the textiles have been whitened, they are put by chemical dying systems using synthetic dyes. These traditional dyes are often synthesized in the lab using heavy metals and other unhealthy chemicals that are dangerous for those creating the textiles in addition as dangerous for the ecosystem when they leave the plant. They may also present health hazards to the garment wearer.

Of particular concern are Azo dyes, used to give some garments their vibrant yellow, reds, and orange colors, which have been connected to cancer. Going by names such as “D&C Red 33” or “Sunset Yellow FCF,” these possible carcinogenic dyes can also be found in foods!

Despite the fact that these dying techniques are so detrimental to human and environmental health, many developing countries without the regulations that would guard against their use. And since the great majority of clothing sold is manufactured in developing countries where environmental laws are non-existent, this is an important factor to consider.

Thankfully organic clothing offers a solution.

The source of dye-pollution for textiles comes in three forms:

– Chemicals used to add color to fiber,

– Methods used to fix those dyes to the fiber,

– How the waste water is disposed once the fiber have been dyed.

In order for a garment to be certified organic, it must be processed throughout these three phases without the use of synthetic chemicals (or only with synthetic chemicals that meet stringent ecological and health standards).

One of the simplest ways to avoid dyes altogether is to look for color grown hemp. Different processes are used to create hemp fibers appropriate for clothing, some of which will preserve the natural color of the fibers – white, gray, green, brown, or black. When a garment is made with the natural color of the original hemp plant, it is sometimes called color-grown hemp clothing.

But in spite of of whether you get a color grown garment or not, organic certified clothing provides the following guarantees that you would never get with traditional clothing:

– fiber would be whitened using hydrogen peroxide, an extremely benign oxidant as compared to chlorine

– Natural dyes are used, produced from earth born supplies such as earthen clays and, plants extracts

– Only low-impact and fiber-reactive dyes, water soluble dyes are allowed

– Heavy metal-free dyes

By choosing organic certified clothing made from materials such as hemp or organic cotton, you get the peace of mind of knowing your clothing has been produced in an environmentally friendly manner and is as healthy for you as it is for the planet.

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