Chemicals-management

Hormone disruptor found in children’s socks

The Spanish University of Granada has found the chemical bisphenol A (BPA) in nine out of ten tested children’s socks, both cheap and expensive. BPA was found in high concentrations in socks made of 80% or more cotton. The hormone disruptor paraben was also present in some socks – this one especially in the specimens with a high polyester content.
Both chemicals can impair brain development, especially in children and infants, and cause learning and behavioural disorders. Other possible consequences are obesity, diabetes or hormone-related cancers such as breast cancer.
Politicians are well aware of the problem – BPA is already banned in the EU in some products, such as baby bottles. But the hormone disruptor is still allowed in clothing, among other things.
For us it is clear: there must be stricter guidelines for the use of such chemicals.

But before that, we can act ourselves:

  • If you want to avoid chemicals in your clothes, you should choose products with an eco-label.
  • Bright colours, colourful prints or a strong chemical smell are indicators of dangerous chemicals.
  • It is also best to use natural fibres instead of synthetic fibres. It is important to use certified organic products such as organic cotton.
  • Second-hand clothing is generally a good choice. Chemicals wash out of the clothes a little with each wash – so the risk of coming into contact with high concentrations of chemicals is much lower with second-hand clothes.

For more tips, take a look at our online brochures:
2017-09_CHEM_MANAGEM_BesserLebenWenigerChemikalien.pdf (bef-de.org)

You can read more about the examination of the children’s socks here:
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160412019307287

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