Hazardous chemicals have been found in childrens clothing

Hazardous chemicals have been found in children's clothing

Potentially hazardous chemicals have been found in children’s clothes and shoes made by leading brands such as Burberry, Adidas and Disney, according to a new investigation.

The report from Greenpeace East Asia covered tests on 82 items sold by 12 brands, also including American Apparel, Gap, Primark and Nike, and detected the presence of what the organisation called “hazardous, potentially hormone-disrupting chemicals”.

Bought last May and June from flagship stores or authorised retailers in 25 countries or regions around the world, the items were made in at least 12 different countries or regions, and one-third of them in China.

NPE was found in 61% of the samples, while more than 94% of those with plastisol prints were found to contain phthalates - with every brand tested found to have some items with “hazardous” chemicals.

These included an Adidas swimsuit claimed to have PFOA levels higher than on the company’s own Restricted Substance List and a Primark children’s T-shirt with 110,000mg/kg of phthalates.

Greenpeace said “high” levels of NPEs were also found in products made by Burberry, Adidas and Disney.

The organisation is calling on the Chinese government to help stop the use of hazardous chemicals in the textile industry, issuing a chemical blacklist to be acted upon immediately.

“This is a nightmare for parents everywhere looking to buy safe clothes for their children,” said Chih An Lee, detox campaigner at Greenpeace East Asia.

“These chemicals are in everything, from exclusive luxury designs to affordable fashion, and from T-shirts to shoes.

“What’s worse, they are accumulating in our waterways, especially China’s rivers and oceans, leaving a long-lasting environmental mess for our future generations.”

It recently emerged that outdoor jackets and gloves sold in Germany by brands including The North Face, Jack Wolfskin,Patagonia and Adidas contained chemicals that are hazardous to the environment and can pose long-term risks to human health.

And the discovery of a huge area of polluted “black water” off the Chinese coast has been blamed on waste water from local dyeing and finishing factories.

Greenpeace says the findings reinforce the need for big brands to urgently take steps to detox their products and supply chains. Many have already joined the group's Detox campaign, which commits them to eliminate all hazardous chemicals from their supply chains by 2020.