Freethinkers! We are honored to post this article by a very knowledgeable and passionate customer…
HOW VINTAGE CLOTHING CAN HELP THE EARTH
By Nancy C. Morris
There is a different way to look at vintage clothing purchases these days. Sure it is very refreshing to wear something vintage and know it wasn’t produced in sweatshops nor contributed to the suffering and mistreatment of unfortunate garment workers in Mexico, Bangladesh, China, and other countries. Vintage clothing purchases are one way of recycling something we can use and it makes a personal statement to us of our own pleasant memories from the past. In this spirit, the way we treat these vintage purchases afterwards could have a beneficial impact on our plant. There is a movement afoot for reducing our exposure to toxic chemical detergents and chemical fragrances found in many products used to clean clothes. After the purchase of a favored vintage clothing item, one can choose those cleaning products that do not harm our won health or that of children or pets. This even helps the many wild creatures we share the planet with. Chemical fragrances found in many cleaning and laundry and personal care products on the market are now considered a waterway contaminant. Water treatment plants cannot remove these chemicals. So the more we use nontoxic cleaning and personal care products, the more we can reduce the toxic chemical waste in our streams, rivers and ultimately the ocean. Remember, chemicals used in fragranced products are not natural, they don’t clean and don’t freshen; they do pollute.
The National Institute of occupational Safety and Health found 884 toxic substances in a list of 2,983 chemicals used in the fragrance industry. Many of these fragrance chemicals are used in products to clean clothes. There is no toxicity data for over 80% of these ingredients. According to the FDA, fragrances are responsible for 30% of all allergic reactions to cosmetics. 72% of asthmatics have respiratory symptoms from exposure to perfumes. Many react to clothes washed in fragranced laundry soap, fabric softener, and dryer sheets. this means thousands of individuals are at risk for severe asthma attacks induced by fragrances, which doesn’t even include the other high risk populations such as babies, children, the elderly, people with emphysema and other lung or immune diseases, and pets who are near clothing that have been treated with these types of products or stay in laundry rooms. Scented detergents, dryer-sheets and fabric softeners continue to volatilize or outgas for weeks or months. These products may cause people to suffer migraines, watery eyes and sinus problems; an exposed person may not even realize what is causing the discomfort. Pets can experience asthma, congestion and irritated eyes and unfortunately can’t speak out about it.
These harmful exposures can happen because the fragrance industry is largely unregulated and self-policing; they do not have to disclose their ingredients in products to consumers. Their heavy advertising and lobbying budgets furthers this agenda of nondisclosures. So you fans of vintage clothing do not buy into corporate PR that says you need chemically fragranced products to clean your clothes. Be a fragrance-freethinker. Perhaps one day the common thought of using fragranced laundry detergents, cleaners, dryer sheets and other scented products will be a trend that will fall by the wayside as more people become informed on these serious health issues.
Article is © 2013 by NANCY C. MORRIS. Permission to use granted to Monster Vintage.
For Further reading:
WHAT’S THAT SMELL:
Chemicals of Concern Commonly Found in Fragrance Used in Cleaning Products.
WHY YOU NEED TO DITCH DRYER SHEETS.
“Unfortunately, dryer sheets can contain some harmful chemicals—including hidden fragrance chemicals that lots of people are sensitive to.”
FRAGRANCE TIDBITS: approximately 20% of Americans report breathing difficulties, headaches, or other health problems when exposed to air fresheners and deodorizers, and more than 10% report adverse effects when exposed to laundry products vented outdoors. Percentage are nearly twice as high for asthmatics.”
FRAGRANCE. A Growing Health & Environmental Hazard. FACT SHEET. F.6.2011. “CDC Establishes Fragrance as a “Recognized Hazard”. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control comments