Experts warn of high chemical concentrations in clothing of some fast-fashion retailers

Experts warn of high chemical concentrations in clothing of some fast-fashion retailers

Business · Marketplace

Experts warn of high chemical concentrations in clothing of some fast-fashion retailers

A market investigation showed that almost every fifth article had increased chemical values of 38 samples of children's, adult and circumstance clothing and accessories-including lead, pfas and phthalate-which experts found.

Shein, Aliexpress and Zaful stop selling questionable products to Canadians after market examinations

Jenny Cowley, Stephanie Matteis, Charlsie Agro · CBC-Nachrichten ·

Posted: Oct 1, 2021 04:00 ET | Last updated: October 1st

Canadians who buy cheap fast fashion from online retailers may have potentially poisonous chemicals.

A marketplace examination showed that of 38 samples of children's, adult and maternity clothing and accessories of an increased chemical values-including lead, pfas and phthalate-were found that experts found.

"People should be shocked," said Miriam Diamond, environmental chemist and professor at the University of Toronto.diamond supervised the laboratory tests that Marketplace had commissioned.

Take a look at the complete investigation

Poisonous clothing

1 month ago


Laboratory tests show toxic chemicals found on new clothing. And how to defend themselves against foreign fraudsters. 22: 30

Scientists found that a jacket for toddlers that was bought from the Chinese retailer Shein almost contained the 20-fold amount of lead, which according to Health Canada is safe for children.The threshold of five.

"This is hazardous waste," said Diamond.

“I am worried because we buy in this incredibly short fashion cycle, which looks sweet and fashionable in terms of our ... future health and environmental health.It is not worth these costs. "

Shein, which sells products both under its own brand and third-party providers, sent an e-mail declaration to Marketplace, in which it was said that it had removed the wallet and the jacket from its app and that the cooperation with relevant suppliers would stop"Until the problem has been solved." We strive to continuously improve our supply chain, "said the company.

The marketplace found clothing with increased chemical concentrations of three fast-fashion retailers: Zaful, Aliexpress and Shein.

These companies offer hundreds to thousands of styles that are updated daily at low prices. Tops are available for less than $ 5, sneakers for less than $ 10.

Lead can have harmful effects on the health of the brain, the heart, kidneys and the reproductive system. Laut on the Health Canada website, children and pregnant women are more susceptible and infants and children are strongest.

Lead is a naturally occurring element that occurs in the entire environment, but Joël Mertens, an expert on the effects of products on the environment at the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, said that the values found in the laboratory results of Marketplace beyond environmental pollution or theSmall quantities that are exposed to clothing are unintentionally during the manufacturing process.

"There were clearly products in which lead was deliberately used, in a way that was far above what should be considered responsible or even safe," he said.

Mertens said that lead can be used in textile color pigments, but there are safer alternatives that can achieve the same results.

How to understand the new findings on "Forever Chemicals" in make-up

Metro, Sibeys among companies called not to do enough to reduce harmful chemicals


What really happens with old dresses that fall in the shops in the recycling containers?

Diamond pointed out the more general concerns that indicate the industry itself, and found that not only the consumer could be exposed to the harmful effects of lead;

"If the end product is not safe for me, it is definitely not safe for the workers who deal with these chemicals to make it," said Diamond.

Health Canada would not give an interview, but said in a statement sent by email that it "monitors the market and that all identified risks for consumer products are pursued".

Expert: Current regulations on Phthalates in Canada not strong enough

Other items of clothing contained an increased content of phthalates, a group of chemicals that are often used to make plastic more flexible.

A transparent pocket bought by Zaful contained enough phthalates, including DEHP, DINP and DNOP, so that Diamond and Mertens Health Canada suggested the product.

Health Canada limits some phthalates to children's toys - such as Dehp, DINP and DNOP - to a maximum of 1,000 parts per million (PPM). However, it is unclear whether it is a children's product.

Health Canada has proposed to ban DEHP in all products bought and sold in Canada, but it is not yet in force.

Diamond said that all phthalates should be given more attention, many of which are considered endocrine disruptors that are chemicals that can disrupt hormones.Causes regarding their effects on people in their reproductive years, she said.

After the Zaful company had informed about the laboratory results, it wrote in an explanation that it is calling for the transparent carrying bag and sending customers a refund that they bought.

In addition to the carrier bag, Diamond has an increased phthalate content in a children's tutu dress from Shein, a children's dress with Elsa from the film, the ice queen of Aliexpress, the red wallet of Shein, a children's rain-made set from Aliexpress and a set of Plastic Klätzenfrom aliexpress.Keiner crossed the limit values of Health Canada.

However, Diamond is still worried, especially in view of the tendency that children suck on clothing or put them in their mouth. Chemicals can also absorb the skin of children, she said.

Experts warn of high chemical concentrations in clothing of some fast-fashion retailers

After Shein, Zaful and Aliexpress retailers informed about the examination of Marketplace, they removed all questionable products from their websites.

Click here to obtain the complete statements of the companies that have been taken into account in this study

Health Canada entered into an email declaration and wrote that the presence of phthalates does not always mean a risk.A toddler under the age of four sucks on the wallet for more than three hours a day.

O'clock | Marketplace finds toxic chemicals in some ultra -fast fashion items:

Toxic chemicals in some clothes from Shein, Aliexpress and Zaful

1 month ago


A market investigation resulted in lead, phthalates and "eternal chemicals" in wallets, jackets and disney princesses. 2: 13

Some scientists are calling for stricter regulations for phthalates in Canada. In contrast to the European Union, where the combined amount of phthalates are taken into account in the regulations, Canada is individually limited each phthalate.

"Of course, the question arises whether combined exposure is possible," says Eva PIP, biologist and professor at the University of Winnipeg. "You cannot have more than 1,000 [ppm] from each individual [Phthalate] that you list butTheoretically you could have 900 [ppm] from each of them and still be fine. "

In 2021, Health Canada released a document that says that the combined exposure of phthalates in the Canadian environment "lies below the values that are expected to lead to organisms".

PIP is of the opinion that this has to change. "Given that these chemicals cause hormones and developmental disorders, death [for organisms] is a rather extreme criterion to determine damage," she said.

Unnecessary chemicals found in rainwear

The scientists also tested PFAs, a collection of fluorinated compounds that are usually used in clothing for impregnation and stain resistance.

Many PFAs are known as endocrine disruptors, and all are considered "eternally chemicals" because they are not rinsed out of the body and are not broken down in the environment.

The possible harmful effects include "increasing obesity up to the impairment of immune function in various types of cancer up to diabetes," said Diamond and noticed: "This is a class of chemicals that should not be used, unless they are absolutelynecessary."

A raincoat that was bought from Aliexpress for $ 13.21 contained a high PFAS content, said Diamond.

Health Canada prohibits the sale and import of products that contain certain fluorinated connections, including the type CBC, with the exception of products that contain the traces of the chemical.

"This creates a huge loophole," said PIP. "The manufacturer can say that the presence [of PFAS] is random."

When checking the amount of PFAs in the aliexpress rain coat, PIP said: "It is difficult to imagine that this is a random amount."

When CBC transmitted the laboratory results to Aliexpress, the company removed the raincoat from its online marketplace and confirmed that it would be further investigations.

The chemicals evaluated can not only affect human health, but can also get into the environment by washing.

Study from 2019 by Ocean Wise from BC

found that up to 4.3 million microfibers can be lost with just one laundry charge.

Mertens points out that Pfas is not absolutely necessary and that there are easily suitable alternatives, such as:B. wax for water dismissal or newer, degradable chemical compounds with similar effects.

"This is actually one of the areas that the industry has focused on, in particular the leading actors in the industry that replace PFAS connections with alternatives," said Mertens.

Health Canada initially announced Marketplace that "concerns about PFAs found and the developing science actively monitored in connection with these substances". In the products concerned, the supervisory authority confirmed that they "assess compliance and, if necessary, take measures immediately".Ultimately, however, the regulatory authority said that it is up to the company to offer the Canadians secure products.

So you still need new clothes. Hier is what to do

Mertens says that the fashion chain is complicated and extends over many countries, but the brands themselves are responsible for monitoring the process so that unnecessary chemicals are eliminated.

“There are many, many organizations and groups that can help every brand or manufacturer to find their way around this area.Nobody really has an excuse to say: 'Well, I just don't know how to deal with it', even small brands. "

Mertens recommends looking for brands for brands who meet product safety by organizations such as Oeko-Tex or Bluesign.

And if you already own the clothes? Diamond says that some chemicals can be washed out of clothing.

However, she adds: "In the long term, I just don't want to buy it."

Journalistic standards and practices of CBC | About CBC News

similar posts

How to understand the new findings on "Forever Chemicals" in make-up

Metro, Sibeys among companies called not to do enough to reduce harmful chemicals


What really happens with old dresses that fall in the shops in the recycling containers?

Add something "good" to your morning and evening.

A large number of newsletters that you will love are delivered directly to you.

Join Now