This page has been archived, and may no longer be up to date

Chemicals out of control

Governments and industry have failed tocontrol the spread of dangerous chemicals around the globe. Sowidespread are manmade hazardous chemicals in our environment, in ourhomes and in the products we use every day, that we are constantlyexposed to a cocktail of chemicals. As a result, even our own bodiesare contaminated.

Moda sin Toxicos

High fashion isn't normally known for being held in high regard amongenvironmentalists. But some big names and big brands in fashion havegotten together with us to put on a toxics-freefashion show. The clothes we wear, no matter how expensive,shouldn't cost the Earth.

In our environment:

It nowseems that no part of the planet is free from chemical contamination.Research shows that fish and whales caught hundreds of kms offshore,and in remote areas such as Alpine lakes and the polar regions, despitebeing far from any industry, are no longer pristine. Rainwater inEurope has been shown to be polluted with the hazardous chemicals thatare added to consumer products. A recent study has found that eels infreshwater ecosystems across Europe are contaminated, raising concernfor the impact on this once abundant species whose numbers now are inrapid decline.

In our homes:

Our testing hasfound that house dust in homes across Europe is contaminated withhazardous manmade chemicals. Chemicals that are added to ordinaryhousehold products (including carpets and other furnishings, electricaland electronic goods, toys and childcare articles, etc.) can bereleased over time, accumulating in the dust in our homes. Chemicals insuch products are rarely labelled and you probably don't realise theyare there. Bringing these chemicals via consumer products into ourhomes leads to a repeated and long-term exposure to low doses of thesecontaminants.

In our products:

Hazardouschemicals are intentionally added to consumer products that we useevery day. Electronics, toys, shampoos, perfumes, furniture, even babies' pyjamas, can all contain substances with the potential to harmhealth and development. We have tested a wide range of these productsfor hazardous chemicals. You can read the results of our testing anddiscover which brands contain the most toxic substances on our ChemicalHome website.

In our bodies:

Analyses ofumbilical cord blood have confirmed the presence of hazardous chemicalsin humans at the very start of life, indicating that chemicals releasedtoday could have profound consequences for the next generation. Thisproves that chemicals released into our environment may have an impacton future generations. No one knows how many man-made chemicalscontaminate our bodies but more than 100 is a conservative estimate. Sogreat is the number of chemicals all around us that we're constantlyexposed to multiple doses, the combined effect of which could beimpacting our health. This effect of chemicals in our bodies, includingin our blood, is largely unknown. There's particular concern about therisks to children and babies, since they are the most vulnerable, andbecause some of these hazardous chemicals are known to affect thedevelopment of babies inside the womb.


The European Union has approved a new chemical law to replaceregulation that is over 40 years old. But the new EU chemicalslegislation (REACH) is in critical condition. Read more analysis or a guide to how you can help strengthen the new law.

We are campaigning for solutions. We believe that politicians must takeaction and require companies to stop using hazardous chemicals and tosubstitute them with safer alternatives whenever and wherever possible.

The latest updates

 

Primark joins the 5 Step Detox Programme

Feature story | 10 February, 2014 at 11:30

Today, British retail giant Primark became the 20th global clothing company to commit to Detox. In doing so, they have taken up the challenge laid down to the fashion industry by people around the world to eliminate all hazardous chemicals from...

5 Greenpeace Facebook moments to remember

Blog entry by JulietteH | 4 February, 2014

The social networking giant, Facebook, turned ten today, but what does that have to do with Greenpeace? Well, whether you’ve signed in or not, Facebook has become a prime mover in digital activism. It's played a role in, and...

How to Detox a fashion brand in 14 days, 6 cities and 10,000 tweets

Blog entry by JulietteH | 28 January, 2014

You did it! The British luxury brand Burberry today committed to rid their clothes and manufacturing processes of toxic Little Monsters by 2020. This is fantastic news and another people powered victory on the runway to a toxic-free...

Detox Burberry Protests, Worldwide

Slideshow | 28 January, 2014

Detox Protest in Hamburg

Image | 27 January, 2014 at 11:58

Greenpeace volunteers protest in front of an Adidas chain store in Hamburg. They are protesting against the usage of toxic chemicals in textile production. . Greenpeace demands that the sports brand implement their commitment to eliminate all use...

A Monstrous Mess: toxic water pollution in China

Feature story | 23 January, 2014 at 13:30

A team from Greenpeace East Asia's Detox campaign recently discovered an unsettling sight off the coast of South Eastern China. Next to the city of Shishi, a centre for children's clothing production, they discovered a huge black plume of...

Burberry: Detoxing is not just a fashion fad

Blog entry by JulietteH | 21 January, 2014

UPDATE 29 January: Fantastic news! Burberry has now commited to #Detox by 2020! Thank you for joining the campaign and helping make this happen! If "Detox" was on your list of New Year's Resolutions, but you already found...

Telling a Detox Fairy Tale

Blog entry by Ilze Smit | 17 January, 2014

Earlier this week Greenpeace launched the latest chapter of the Detox campaign for toxic-free fashion, revealing how hazardous Little Monsters are lurking in all kinds of kid's clothes - from luxury to budget - and calling on big...

Greenpeace matriarch "walked in light"

Blog entry by Barbara Stowe | 16 January, 2014 2 comments

Marie Bohlen, a consummate artist known for her nature illustrations and a founding matriarch of Greenpeace, died January 5th at age 89, passing away peacefully at her home in Courtenay, British Columbia. Besides a distinguished...

'Detox Our Future' Mexico

Image | 14 January, 2014 at 17:44

Over one hundred children create a human banner reading: "Detox Our Future" with the Greenpeace ship, Rainbow Warrior in the background, displaying the 'Detox symbol between her masts. The activity took place to mark the launch of the Greenpeace...

31 - 40 of 1881 results.