Author: Suhein Beck
Jan 30, 2016
WARNING: YUCK Factor = 7.3
The joys of shopping are undeniably sweet. For some of us it's like The Hunt. The best of female bonding happens on these hunting trips! The conquest of a great deal with an adorable outfit is a skill to be admired.
After reading this article, please don't hate me. I'm just watching out for us and especially those already suffering from sensitive skin from Eczema, Psoriasis, Fungal Infections, etc., and other auto-immune conditions.
In recent tests conducted by Philip Tierno, PhD., Director of MicroBiology & Immunology University in New York, clothing from both high and low-end clothing stores had detectable traces of :
Feces, Respiratory Secretions, Vaginal Organisms, Yeast, Skin Flora, and More...
"Some garments were grossly contaminated with many organisms … indicating that either many people tried it or ... someone tried it on with heavy contamination …
The types of potential diseases that can spread are hepatitis A, traveler's diarrhea, MRSA, salmonella, norovirus, yeast infections, lice, scabies and streptococcus are all fair game when it comes to clothing items tried on by multiple people.
GOOD NEWS: A person with a strong immune system can generally bypass transmission.
BAD NEWS: A person with a compromised immune system and already sensitized skin is more susceptible to adding to their burdens.
So aside from the YUCK Factor here of microbial transmission from trying clothes on, remember washing clothes upon purchase IS A MUST for all of us! Now - let's add to that the following scary skin crawling facts.
MORE BAD NEWS: Chemical Exposure is a serious concern if you are trying to reduce your overall toxin intake, both in respiratory AND topical absorption.
Some of the Chemical Culprits are:
1. Azo-aniline dyes - which may cause skin reactions ranging from mild to severe. If you're sensitive, such dyes may leave your skin red, itchy and dry, especially where the fabric rubs on your skin, such as at your waist, neck, armpits and thighs. The irritants can be mostly washed out, but it might take multiple washings to do so.
2. Formaldehyde resins are also used in clothing to cut down on wrinkling and mildew. Not only is formaldehyde a known carcinogen, but the resins have been linked to eczema and may cause your skin to become flaky or erupt in a rash.
3. Nonylphenol ethoxylate (NPE), meanwhile, is a toxic endocrine-disrupting surfactant used to manufacture clothing.
4. Antimicrobial Triclosan - also used in many antibacterial soaps and personal care products and has been suspected to disrupt the endocrine (hormone) systems and may interfere with fetal development as well as offset antibiotics and be linked to increased cancer risks.
5. Perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), which are toxic to humans and the environment. This is the stuff that helps fabrics graduate to NON-STAIN just like NON-STICK cookware, but they're also most common in outdoor gear and fabrics.
6. Pesticides - especially with cotton fabrics! As if we didn't get enough in our food supply, now we have to worry about this in our precious 100% Cotton? I thought that was the safest of all! There are actually some fabrics treated with bug repellants for the consumer to enjoy a camping experience without Mosquitos. Those are treated with some heavy duty, long-lasting chemicals made to endure many adventures and washings.
7. Bleach - are we depressed yet? This is so obvious, yet how did my OCD tendencies miss this? Of course there is bleach and dyes and pesticides...I never thought I'd say this, but maybe those nudist colonies were onto something?
According to the Organic Trade Association:
"Cotton is considered the world's 'dirtiest' crop due to its heavy use of insecticides, the most hazardous pesticide to human and animal health. Cotton covers 2.5% of the world's cultivated land yet uses 16% of the world's insecticides, more than any other single major crop."
My crystal ball tells me, we should be focused on CLOTHING LABELS that must disclose Chemical Exposures on the far horizon.
TOP 10 TIPS:
- Look for clothes with OEKO-TEX Standard 100 label which represents it passed an independent lab that certified the fabric free from the top 100 most used dangerous textile chemicals.
- When trying clothes on, wear long sleeve and long pants undergarments, similar to Spandex as a precaution for all garments.
- Wash clothes immediately after purchase.
- Double wash when you suspect the stronger chemicals were used for wrinkle guard and stain guard.
- If you can't wash, run a cycle in the dryer.
- Do a vinegar soak to help eliminate dyes.
- Shop online and enjoy private home fittings instead.
- Shop for non-irritating fabrics such as bamboo.
- Use non-fragrance detergents made for sensitive skin.
- Focus on rebuilding your immune system - notice this one was last - we all know it's the hardest and most significant one of all.