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Study: Some Popular Fashion Brands Sell ‘Toxic’ Clothing

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File photo of a rack of clothing. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)

File photo of a rack of clothing. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)

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CHARLOTTE (CBS Charlotte) – New research has found that hazardous toxins may be hiding in everyday items of clothing.

Greenpeace International released a study, entitled “Toxic Threads: The Big Fashion Stitch-Up,” to warn consumers worldwide of the potential dangers caused by chemicals used in textile manufacturing and introduced to products by water pollution.

An alarming amount of clothing was found to be contaminated, according to the study.

“[Nonylphenol ethoxylates] were found in a total of 89 articles, [or] 63 percent of all items tested,” researchers noted in their official report. “All of the brands included in this study had one or more product[s] that contained detectable levels of NPEs.”

Giorgio Armani, Calvin Klein and Zara were some of the popular clothing brands included in the study, all of whom reportedly failed the researchers’ tests.

NPEs are generally seen in detergents, wetting agents and defoaming agents, among other sources. Experimentation and research into NPEs over the course of recent years led to widespread concern regarding the environmental implications of NPEs being used in various products.

A reported 14 brands sold in America were found to contain NPEs, despite an alleged nationwide ban on their use in light of recent discoveries.

“Phthalates were [also] detected in all 31 of the samples of the plastisol printed fabric. Very high concentrations were found in four of the samples, at levels of up to 37.6 percent by weight, indicating their deliberate use as plasticisers in the plastisol print,” the study added.

Researchers expressed concern regarding the findings, and the safety of consumers who regularly wear clothing made by the brands they examined.

“As inherently hazardous substances, any use of NPEs, phthalates, or azo dyes that can release cancer causing amines, is unacceptable,” researchers noted.

Not all brands received poor marks, however, popular retailer H&M,who has locations in Raleigh and Winston-Salem, was praised by researchers for endeavoring to reduce the amount of toxins in their clothes, Time magazine additionally reported.

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