Formaldehyde in Clothing
by Neva J. Howell unless otherwise noted
A sad vindication for my years of irritation
I have often had reactions to clothing. Certain clothing would make me itch and feel bad. There was an odor on such clothing that made me literally nauseous. In some clothing stores, I couldn’t stay there long because of the smell coming off the clothes. This is still true though I buy most of my clothes from Goodwill and other thrift stores these days.
Now I know why I couldn’t stay in those clothing stores. I just read that many of the clothes coming here from China actually have unsafe levels of formaldehyde in them. Yes, formaldehyde in clothing, right there next to your skin. Worse yet, right next to the skin of children and babies.
I’ve always felt so much better in used clothing. Growing up poor, I hardly ever got new clothes as a child. Today, that might be a VERY good thing.
I shop at thrift stores and hardly ever buy new on principal. First of all, we’ve already made more stuff on the planet than we will ever use up. Second, the entire structure of mark-up madness makes retail something I don’t really support unless it’s something I can’t find used, or it would not be safe to buy if used.
Now I have an added reason to stick with that plan. Used clothing has been washed over and over and would naturally have less of any added toxin in it.
This definitely applies to furniture too, as well as houses. I don’t think I’ll ever build a new house. We have more existing than can be sold now. Why bring more polution into the planet with yet more concrete, treated wood, plywood, paint, etc?
I was not at all surprised when the report came out about the FEMA trailers in New Orleans making people sick. Plywood paneling reeks of formaldehyde. I can’t stand to be near most of it.
My rule is…if I can smell the clothes, the furniture, the house, then I’ll pass.
I would strongly encourage parents to buy used clothing, especially if they have very young children. Their little lungs are not fully developed and could be much more affected than adults, by formaldehyde in clothing (or other toxins such as those that create a ph level that can actually burn sensitive children’s skin)