Greenpeace Finds Toxic Chemicals in Top Clothing Brands28 August, 2011 at 08:48 | Posted in Body & Mind, China, Environmental issues, Nature, sustainable development | Leave a comment
Tags: Body & Mind, China, environmental issues, health, Nature, sustainable development
Traces of toxic and hormone-disrupting chemicals have been found in clothes bearing 14 top manufacturing brands, Greenpeace said in its report released on Tuesday in the Philippines and China, where many of the clothes are made.
Nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPE) were found pervading clothing and fabric-based shoes sold internationally by brands such as Adidas, H&M, and Abercrombie & Fitch. NPE breaks down to form nonylphenol, which interrupts biological endocrine functions and harms the reproductive system.
“Scientific research has shown that NPE have direct correlation with premature puberty,” Zhang Kai, who was in charge of the investigation, told Chinese business daily Changjiang Daily. “Experiments have confirmed that these environmental hormones could induce male fish to transform into female fish.”
Zhang said that among the brands, 40 percent of Adidas products were found to have NPE, while the Chinese athletic brand Li Ning was the most contaminated with the chemicals in 100 percent of its tested products.
While the brand is not well known in the West, Li Ning, with all its clothes made and sold in mainland China, is a domestic competitor to Nike and Adidas.
“It is difficult for us to understand why the Chinese government bans exports of clothes containing NPE abroad, but allows the manufacturing and sales of such products in its domestic market,” said Zhang. “The government has yet to have regulations regarding the usage and disposal of NPE in China.”
In response to the report, Li Ning’s Public Relations Director Zhang Xiaoyan submitted a statement to the Hangzhou-based Metro Express, saying that a recent test conducted by internationally reputable testing agencies SGS and CTI concluded that all of Li Ning’s sample products were in full compliance with the European Union’s REACH standard.
Another Zhang, Mr. Zhang from the southeastern province of Zhejiang, was not buying the explanation by Li Ning’s Zhang Xiaoyan.
“China’s PR is really unusual, and some PR girls are really very capable,” he said. “The Li Ning products can pass EU inspection; it has everything to do with the PR work by the Ling Ning company. This type of PR is actually a crime.”
In a sarcastic voice, Zhang said, “The samples for inspection are randomly chosen and sent for inspection. I think Li Ning’s products can pass EU inspection, and the PR department has made a great contribution.”
“However, Greenpeace is an independent organization,” Zhang said. “Its sampling is a done during a surprise visit, so there is no time for Li Ning’s company to do PR. Therefore, such an investigation result is credible. In China, we lack such an independent organization that gives a fair inspection.”