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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

 

Victoria’s Secret: From Fallen Angel to Detox Leader?

Blog entry by Tommy Crawford | 22 January, 2013 5 comments

Limited Brands – owner of iconic underwear labels Victoria’s Secret and La Senza – has today bowed to public pressure and committed to eliminate all hazardous chemicals from its supply chain and products by 2020. That makes it three...

Silent Witnesses to the Toxic Truth

Blog entry by Muyi Yang, Greenpeace East Asia | 21 December, 2012 3 comments

At Greenpeace we believe in bearing witness to environmental crimes. In shining a global spotlight on injustice. In the positivity of action. A year ago we set out to investigate the discharges flowing into the Qiantang River in...

A Leap Of Life

Slideshow | 13 December, 2012

Levi's shapes up to become a Detox leader

Feature story | 13 December, 2012 at 13:10

Levi Strauss & Co. today committed to go toxic-free. Why? Because you and hundreds of thousands of other people demanded that Levi’s “Go Forth and Detox”.

Detox At Levi's Headquarters

Image | 13 December, 2012 at 0:07

Activists in the USA create a 'river' out of non-toxic foam and protest with placards outside the Levi's headquarters in San Francisco. To demand Levi's commit to a toxic free future.

'Detox' Levi's Actions

Slideshow | 10 December, 2012

Because we fight for life

Blog entry by Pierre Terras | 10 December, 2012 3 comments

Graciela invited me to her home in El Salto, a city on one of Mexico's most polluted rivers, the Rio Santiago. She wanted to share the story of her community's struggle for environmental justice. "Every family here has at least one...

Now is OUR time. Tell Levi’s to Detox!

Blog entry by Tommy Crawford | 7 December, 2012 18 comments

Wow. We are just over 36 hours into our campaign calling on the world’s largest jeans manufacturer to Detox its products and supply chain, and already Levi’s resolve is unraveling at the seams. This is all thanks to YOUR help: More...

Let’s give Levi’s 501,000 reasons to Detox

Blog entry by Pierre Terras | 5 December, 2012 9 comments

“From the way we make our products to how we run the company, we’re committed to restoring the environment. Consumers expect this from us, employees demand it, and the planet requires it.” This is a very honourable statement from...

Toxic Threads: Under Wraps

Publication | 5 December, 2012 at 17:00

Exposing the textile industry's role in polluting Mexico's rivers.

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