Formaldehyde and Additives in Children’s Clothing
Some garments were found a few years ago to contain higher levels of formaldehyde in them, more than what was considered safe by the World Health Organization.
Formaldehyde is a popular “cheap” chemical used in clothing, shoes, furniture, fertilizer paper, toys, cosmetics, and food. I found an article on formaldehyde in children’s clothing that gave details on how long-term exposure and high concentrations of formaldehyde can lead to cancer.
Also, exposure to formaldehyde can cause eye, skin and nasal irritations, respiratory problems, asthma, and cancer.
Here are some tips for making sure that, as well as looking cute, your child is safe too:
- As a rule, wash all clothes at least twice before you let them anywhere near your children, especially babies.
- This also goes for bed linen and towels.
- Laundering will wash out most of the additives that have been put into the fabric and also make the items softer.
What to do when washing.
- Add one cup of baking soda to the wash and soak the clothes overnight before putting them through the usual machine cycle.
- Also, while you are at it, switch to a perfume-free laundry detergent.
There are now several “sensitive” brands of washing detergent, or you can use “pure soap flakes”.
- Don’t use fabric softener which has strong perfume added to it, as these can cause allergic reactions.
- Look for HE detergents free of dyes and perfumes to wash baby’s clothes in.
Check Children’s clothes:
- When out buying clothes, take a good look at them.
- Are they shiny, stiff as a board or permanent-press?.
- Do they smell odd?.
These are all signs that they have been finished with chemicals and if a garment is permanent-press, it means the chemicals used on it will be meant to be permanent and will be very difficult to remove.
- Don’t think that buying 100% cotton or linen means there are no additives to worry about.
- Natural fibers are extremely prone to mildew, so unless it clearly states on the label that it is additive-free, natural-fibre clothing can still contain additives.
Think about buying second-hand.
There is no longer such a stigma about wearing second-hand clothing and there are shops everywhere with good quality and well-laundered clothing for sale.
By the time your child wears it, you can be fairly sure it’s had many washes and will, therefore, be free of most chemicals and additives.
When you have a baby, you are never short of boxes of clothes, so take another look at that woolen cardigan that’s been in the family for a decade, it will be soft and free of any chemicals, not to mention warm.
Little advice for older children’s second-hand clothes
Older children can be encouraged to wear second-hand clothes by sending them to an op-shop to choose their own gear.
They will come out with more clothes than they know what to do with and will get to use their creativity in combining pieces.
Is Flame-Resistant Clothing Safe for Children?
Many children’s items, including clothing, car seat covers, and toys, are treated with flame-resistant chemicals.
Since 1953, federal regulations have required any item of sleepwear for children to be flame-resistant.
However, concerns over the environmental and health effects of chemical flame retardants prompted the regulations to be revised to allow items to be made with non-treated fabrics that fit snugly.
If your child is wearing flame-resistant clothing, their clothes may smolder but would not catch fire unless held in the flame for a long period of time.
As soon as the fabric is away from the flame, it would stop burning.
So, therefore, flame-resistant clothing is safe for children.
How to Properly Wear Flame-Resistant Clothing
The above video is an up to date video, published on 5 Jan 2015
A DuPont expert explains guidelines for how to properly wear flame-resistant undergarments, outerwear, and rainwear.
What is more important than protecting your children health?
The toxic they are exposed to every day, whether it’s their toys, bedding, clothes, etc.
Everything has changed over the last few decades more harmful than ever, most materials come with fire retardant chemicals in them.
Also containing other additives, synthetic chemicals, cancer-causing ingredients, etc.
Let’s protect them and be careful when buying their clothing, always wash before wearing them.