By PSU EcoMerge Capstone - 5:32 PM

The Monsters are coming!
Parental instincts engage almost immediately after children are born – we begin asking people to wash their hands before holding the baby, even risking offense by asking that they not visit when sick.  After successfully defeating the diseased masses, our next thought is towards immunizations (or not), then eventually to nutrition.  But wait, there’s more!  Environmentally conscious groups have been discussing potential toxins in clothing, especially those for children.  Being that I am a skeptic, I have decided to research this topic rather than being an automaton; I invite you to join me and see what we might discover together. 
            A simple Google search for “toxins in children’s clothing,” yielded some disturbing results, the most worrisome being Greenpeace’s “New study finds toxic monsters lurking in children’s clothing…”  Not one to fall prey to scary phraseology, I decided to read the piece with an open mind and do my best to determine the validity of it after doing so.  In complete honesty, the article seems a bit hyped up with words like “nightmare, hazardous chemicals and little monsters.”  But, as is often the case with stories of this nature, there is an element of truth behind the hysteria.  The fact is, there are toxins in clothing, and children are more apt to be negatively affected because they are still developing. 
             A problem with discussions surrounding toxins is that many of us envision movies from the 1980’s, wherein the Swamp Thing lurches out of tepid water to terrorize civilians.  Or, we may expect that there will be immediate repercussions after being exposed to poisons.  In truth, the issue with these lines of clothing is not necessarily that kids can receive burns or rashes, but that they may have reproductive issues or cancer later in life.  As is noted in an online article by The Daily Mail, a popular British newspaper, Green Peace has suggested that these chemicals should be avoided as a safeguard.  There may not be an immediate risk, but why not ensure that your children have a happy and healthy future? 

            Please peruse other posts on this blog for pointers on how and where to find safe clothing. 

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