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Toxic chemical exposure for workers is being called a "global health crisis" because… well… it is.
With sweatshop labor prominent in the textile industry, worker safety is rarely a priority. Increased production and the widespread use of chemicals in many developed countries are further threatening these workers.
For example, polyester textiles, which are used in 55% of all clothing production, rely on the use of many heavy metals and known carcinogens. You read that right- KNOWN carcinogens are being used in our clothing!
Research from the National Institutes of Health illustrates that occupational exposure to such toxic chemicals can cause skin, respiratory, and gastrointestinal symptoms and, in some cases, may even cause cancer. Frequently, factory workers who encounter these materials are not informed about safety procedures or provided the proper equipment to reduce exposure (which is pretty f@&!ed up)!
But it’s not only the polyester—nearly every textile material undergoes the wet processing phase of production which is where dyeing and chemical processing takes place. Thankfully, this doesn’t have to be the case.
Toxic chemicals don’t have to be used to produce our clothing and companies can help protect their workers by restricting the types of chemicals used in their clothing. That is something we’ve ensured since DAY ONE here at For The Feel, and we hope to make it the standard! Let’s fight to make a difference.