Sick of Fashion? Or is Fashion Making you Sick?

October 12th, 2018


Anyone who has see the original Star Trek knows that wearing a red shirt is hazardous to your health.  But that hazard may not be limited to wearing red.  It could be that a lot of clothing is hazardous to your health.   

JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association has found that exposing children to PFCs lessens their immunoresponse and lessen the effects of vaccination. PFCs have also been associated with a range of other health issues, from low birth rate to prostate cancer.

So, what are PFCs?  PFCs are perfluorinated compounds.  They are chemicals that have been around for years.  And they are often used in making clothing stain resistant and/or waterproof.  The chemicals are also found in common products like GoreTex, Teflon, and Scotchguard.

Other than the standard problem of being dangerous, PFCs are also chemically persistent.  That means it takes a long time for them to break down into less hazardous materials.  They may sit in the environment – or in our bodies, for years.  Or they could rest in the clothing that they treat.

And many clothing companies use a lot of these chemicals.  Greenpeace recently composed a report on several sportswear companies using these chemicals.  The report is here if you’d like to read it.  But the gist of it is that the companies are using a lot of these chemicals that can be hazardous to those making the clothes, and possibly those who are wearing the clothes.  And these chemical like to stick around.  Below is a map of where some PFCs have been found in drinking water.

And it’s not just the clothes.  PFCs are becoming a problem in that the chemical contaminant are hanging around in our drinking water.  But by having them in the clothing we wear, that’s literally rubbing it in.

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