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.
A total of 82 children’s textile products were purchased in May and June 2013 in 25 countries/regions worldwide from flagship stores, or from other authorised retailers. They were manufactured in at least twelve different countries/regions. The brands included fast fashion brands, such as American Apparel, C&A, Disney, GAP, H&M, Primark, and Uniqlo; sportswear brands, such as adidas, LiNing, Nike, and Puma; and the luxury brand Burberry.
The products were sent to the Greenpeace Research Laboratories at the University of Exeter in the UK, from where they were dispatched to independent accredited laboratories. All products were investigated for the presence of nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs); certain products were also analysed for phthalates, organotins, per/poly-fluorinated chemicals (PFCs), or antimony, where the analysis was relevant for the type of product. The analysis for antimony was carried out at the Greenpeace Research Laboratories.
All the hazardous chemicals mentioned above were detected in various products, above the technical limits of detection used in this study. 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.
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