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Call for a global ban on apparel sandblasting
25
May '11
The International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers’ Federation (ITGLWF) and global apparel buyers and manufacturers issue this joint Call to Action urging an industry-wide ban on the practice of sandblasting in the garment industry

Apparel sandblasting involves projecting fine sand with compressed air to create a worn look on denim and other garments. Sandblasting can be extremely damaging to the health of workers if proper safeguards are not followed, and can lead to a disabling and potentially fatal lung disease called silicosis.

In July 2010, after the impact of sandblasting on workers’ health had come under scrutiny in Turkey, the ITGLWF called for a ban on this process. The ban is an important step toward ensuring that no worker – in any garment factory – faces the threat associated with exposure to crystalline silica.

In September 2010, as a commitment to the health and safety of workers across the apparel industry, Levi Strauss & Co. and H&M became the first to implement a global ban on sandblasting in their supply chains. In so doing, these companies went beyond the ban which the Turkish Ministry had imposed within Turkey and extended the ban to all operations globally. Since then a number of other leading brands and retailers – such as C&A, Carrefour, and Esprit - have also announced the elimination of sandblasting in their supply chains.

The aim of this Call to Action is to ban sandblasting throughout the global garment industry. Signatory companies agree to:

Ban the practice of sandblasting throughout their supply chains including but not limited to the use of aluminium oxide, aluminium silicate, silicon carbide, copper slag and garnet for abrasive blasting;

Work with their suppliers in a transition towards alternative methods, after having established the risks and their means of control;

Take the necessary measures to ensure that the ban is effectively applied throughout their whole supply chain.

This Call to Action is signed and supported by the ITGLWF and the following brands and retailers:

Aurora Fashions, Bestseller, C&A, Carrefour, Esprit, Hennes & Mauritz AB (H&M), Inditex, Karen Millen, Levi Strauss & Co, New Look.

The International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers Federation is a Global Union Federation bringing together 217 affiliated organisations in 110 countries.

International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers' Federation (ITGLWF)

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