Poisonous chemicals found in briefs despite EU ban

20 Aug '08
2 min read

A recent analysis made on two black Björn Borg briefs revealed the presence of 860 milligrams of nonylphenolethoxylate per kilo in the first pair while the second one weighed 490 milligrams.

What surprised the analysts was not only the discovery of this forbidden fabric chemical in the goods but that it exceeded way above its permitted level of 250 milligrams per kilogram.

This chemical substance is known to have serious effects on the environment which is why EU has declared a ban on exporting and importing of textile goods and apparels containing this chemical. It has been found out that when clothes having this substance are washed, the chemical rises off and makes its way into the water system thereby polluting it. The poisonous chemical causes fish to develop dual sexual organs and lose the ability to reproduce.

Although, EU has banned production of this chemical, there is still no law that prohibits importing of foreign read-made fabrics containing this substance. In order to protect the environment, both Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC) and the Swedish Water & Wastewater Association (SWWA) have vehemently protested against the use of nonylphenolethoxylate and have recommended that imported fabrics have a maximum content of 20-25 milligrams per kilo.

Despite precaution, water supplies in Sweden have still been reported to have nonylphenolethoxylate contents. This is largely because of textiles and clothing being imported from abroad, especially from Asia where the chemical is being widely used.

The problem is really concerning and its time that remedial measures be taken to reduce the usage and production of this chemical which would otherwise start causing serious damages to the environment. The Swedish Chemical Agency has suggested that the EU needs to have a stricter regulation to not only limit but completely forbid the use of this substance.

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