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Organic Clothing and Natural Feelings 2

 

If we take a decision to have fabrics which is devoid of any chemicals we will be one among many to be instrumental for avoiding many negative impacts which are having far reaching consequences. The notable among them is that we are taking the first step to remove the harmful chemicals from the fertilizers and pesticides at our surroundings which are directly responsible for altering the ecosystem.

There are obvious and glaring examples through out the world, one of them is the dead zones of Gulf of Mexico. This is created by the continuous use of harmful chemicals containing in the heavy fertilizers, which is constantly pouring to the rivers and is carried down stream. This not only damages the eco balancing of the earth but also a constant threat to the endangered species, notable among them is the bald eagle.

Having taken a decision to go for only clothes that is organic or in other words without chemicals, we have to also take into account that the clothing which you are going to have, has to pass the test of fair trade regulations. The fair trade is nothing but to ensure legally and ethically that the workers who are engaged in the production of these items are treated fairly and their remunerations are in commensurate with their efforts

Adhering to the fair trade regulations is a current trend particularly for those who take the organics as their way of life and also for them who are dreaming of a pollution free earth. But the negative flip of the coin is the cost of production of eco friendly clothing. The eco friendly and fair trade goods are indeed expensive due to their cost of production. The fabrics which are exposed to fertilizers and pesticides are far cheaper than the organic one.

The fact that for the production of organic clothes requires no pesticides and synthetic fertilizers, it also gives no irritation to the skin. This is due to the non inclusive of certain addictives which normally used to prevent wrinkles to the clothes. For example, the chemical Formaldehyde, a bonder substance for the wrinkle free cotton fabrics, is a confirmed chemical for causing irritating allergy, and also most likely to induce side effects of deformities of the infants and even to the extent of causing cancer.

As a general rule the present acceptable level of formaldehyde may not be that harmful for a vast majority of humans, but it does give a harmful impact to those who are susceptible to allergies. The countries like Japan and Sweden have already banned formaldehyde in cosmetics.

It is the chemicals which make the fabrics wrinkle free look. So the absence of such chemicals will indeed pose problems and challenges for maintaining organic clothing. But thankfully there are products of organic origins to reduce the problems of maintaining organic fabrics.

When you are for organic clothing you have to go for soft laundry soaps made from organic substances, as naturally the harsh chemicals will certainly reduce the look and durability of the cotton fabrics. The greatest aspect is that such organic detergents are bio degradable and posing no threat to the eco system.

 

Source: William Suburn (http://www.greendaze.org/organic-clothing-and-natural-feelings/comment-page-1/#comment-20526)

Can you be allergic to your underwear? 56

"Ok believe it or not this is a serious question,for a while now I have been very suspicious that I am allergic to my underwear.I will explain: Basically I kept experincing painful rashes after using my 90%cotton 10%lycra stretchy underwear.I had painful rashes on my private area including my bottom and wherever the elastic touched my skin including the leg creases.So I switched to 100%cotton underwear but of course they still have some elastic.It reduced the soreness and itching in the private area but still I was experiencing irritating rashes in the leg crease.so I started to go commando and the problem cleared up.However its not possible to go commando all the time so,yesterday i grabbed some underwear not realizing it was the stretchy kind and now I have a sore,painful and rashy private area.The same thing happens with my bras,i break out under my arms and on the sides where the bra touches my skin.does anyone know what I should do about this? is this an allergy??"

 

Source: http://www.healthexpertadvice.org/forum/Allergies/Can-you-be-allergic-to-your-underwear-27075.htm

  • Christian Morqueda

How to Help Sensory Sensitive Children 0

 

Overview

Sensory sensitivity, also known as sensory processing disorder, is a condition which, until recently, has not been fully understood. The Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation estimates that one in 20 children are affected by this condition. Sensory sensitivity occurs when sensory information is improperly filtered and therefore is intensified on its way to the brain. As a result, children who are sensory sensitive may become upset by sounds, textures or smells. By understanding the nature of this condition, you can help your sensory-sensitive child to function well.

Step 1

Adjust the texture and temperature of your child's clothes. According to website Remedial and Special Education, some children who are sensory sensitive have difficulty wearing certain types of clothes, particularly those that are too snug fitting, itchy or cold to the touch. You can work with your child on this by planning his clothes the night before, as this will help him know what to expect. In winter, you should also warm your child's clothing, either near a heater or in the dryer.

Step 2

Provide crunchy foods, and separate textures during meals. Website Remedial and Special Education recommends that you keep crunchy foods on hand for your sensory-sensitive child, as these foods facilitate an important "sixth sense" called proprioception, in which sensory feedback makes a person aware of movement and body position. Crunchy foods may help your child to develop better proprioception. Also, avoid mixing foods together that have conflicting textures, such as mashed potatoes and gravy.

Step 3

Avoid overcrowding your child's schedule. Remedial and Special Education says it's especially important not to "overbook" a sensory-sensitive child, as this is likely to overwhelm her. Try to space out birthday parties, trips to the zoo or picnics, so they don't occur on the same day.

Step 4

Practice deep pressure. According to Remedial and Special Education, "deep pressure" refers to a type of touch that may help to desensitize your child's tactile experience. This could include massage, a "bear hug" or wrapping your child snugly in a blanket.

Step 5

Try occupational therapy. The Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation says children with this condition may benefit from a type of treatment known as occupational therapy. This type of therapy, which focuses on sensory integration, often takes place in a gym environment with heightened stimuli. Although it is taught by a clinician, occupational therapy often involves family participation.

Tips and Warnings

  • Avoid strong-smelling fabric softeners. Remedial and Special Education emphasizes that a strongly scented fabric softener may disturb your sensory sensitive child's wearing of her clothes, and possibly disturb sleep if used on bed sheets.

Source: http://www.livestrong.com/article/218389-how-to-help-sensory-sensitive-children/


 


  • Christian Morqueda

Can Dye From Clothes Cause a Rash? 4

 

What is contact dermatitis?

  • Dyes from clothes can cause a rash in people who are allergic or sensitive to synthetic dyes. Contact dermatitis is a condition where a skin rash occurs after the skin is exposed to fragrances, dyes or other irritants.
    Those prone to contact dermatitis should consider wearing unbleached, nondyed garments that are labeled as such. They could also wear clothes labeled as dyed with nontoxic dyes.

    According to the Health and Safety Assessment of the Washington State Department, clothing dermatitis can result from dyes in clothes rubbing off easily on the skin. The department explains that commercial dyes are easily transferred to people in this way.
  • Remedies

  • The simplest way to reduce clothing dermatitis is to remove any clothing that has commercial dyes. Unless a garment is specifically labeled as being dyed with nontoxic dyes, it is likely dyed with much cheaper, synthetic dyes.
    According to the Safety and Health Assessment of the Washington State Department, blues and violet synthetic dyes often create skin irritation for those with this sensitivity.
    Instead, select garments that are not dyed with artificial dyes or those that are not dyed at all.
  • Preventive measures

  • Today many garments are dyed from plants, herbs and even teas. These garments are sold online or in specialty catalogs. Purchasing and wearing clothes that are not dyed with synthetic colors might reduce or eliminate skin rashes.
    It will be a process of trial and error to discover which types of clothing will not irritate an individual with clothing dermatitis.

  • Source: http://www.ehow.com/how-does_5382336_can-dye-clothes-cause-rash.html
    • Christian Morqueda

    Textile dye allergy 0


    Dyes used in textiles can cause allergic reactions. In Denmark, textile dye allergy is rare. 

    Textile dye and allergy

    During the dyeing process the textile dyes bind to the fibres of the fabric. Sometimes there is a surplus of dye, which is not bound in the fabric’s fibres, and this can bleed onto the skin. Many chemicals are used in the different textile dyes. The chemical dyes that belong to a group called azo dyes are the most allergenic. Azo dyes are used mostly to colour synthetic fibres such as polyester and nylon. These dyes are water soluble; sweat can have the same effect, which leads to the dye coming in direct contact with the skin and increasing the risk of developing an allergy.

     

     

    What are the symptoms? 

    The main symptom is eczema. The skin is itchy, red and swollen with spots or bumps and possibly also blisters. The eczema usually starts where the clothing has the closest contact with the skin. For example, if the dye of a shirt or blouse is causing the eczema, the inflammation will appear around the armpits and the neck. Hand eczema is also a symptom, especially if contact with the dyes is work-related.

      

    How frequent is it?

    Textile dye allergy occurs relatively seldom in Denmark. A dermatology department at one of the Danish hospitals tested more than 1000 eczema patients for the allergy over 6 months; only two people had textile dye allergy. Textile dye allergy occurs more frequently in countries with a warm climate. For example, in Italy it is not unusual that 50 out of 1000 eczema patients have textile dye allergy. This may be due to people sweating more in warmer climates and, as a consequence, greater bleeding of textile dyes. It may also be due to the greater popularity of synthetic textiles in warmer countries and, with this, the greater exposure to textile dyes.

     

    How is it diagnosed?

    Symptoms and diagnosis

     

    If the localization of the patient’s eczema and his or her medical history suggest textile dye allergy, a patch test, also called a plaster test, is done to confirm the diagnosis. In addition to the actual dyes tested small pieces of the item of clothing thought to provoke the allergy can be tested too.
     


    Are there other causes of textile dye allergy?

     

    Some textiles are treated with other chemicals to give a special finish. These chemicals are called Textile Finish Resins. They give textiles bulk or make them water or crease resistant. Textile Finish Resins release formaldehyde and may provoke allergic reactions, but this is relatively rare.
     

    Some textile dyes are used to a limited extent in permanent hair dyes. This means that if a person is allergic to hair dye he or she may also be allergic to textile dyes and vice versa. However, this is seemingly rare.  

    What can you do yourself?

    If you are allergic to textile dyes, you should avoid wearing deeply coloured clothing, particularly if the item is directly next to your skin. Choose light-coloured clothing and undyed clothing with 100% natural fibres (cotton, linen, silk, wool).

     

    If you are allergic to textile finishes, washing the garment will remove the surplus formaldehyde and will diminish or remove the problem. If you are allergic to formaldehyde, it is advisable to use only untreated textiles.

     

    Source: http://www.videncenterforallergi.dk/Textile%20dye%20allergy-1265.aspx

    • Christian Morqueda

    What are some of the symptoms of latex allergy? 0

    • localized skin rash or itching (generally on the hands)
    • hives
    • swollen red skin
    • swollen lips and tongue with difficulty breathing, wheezing
    • shortness of breath
    • dizziness
    • fainting
    • abdominal pain
    • diarrhea
    • anaphylactic shock

    • Christian Morqueda

    How to Prevent Eczema? Stop it Before it Happens 2

    Are you aware that over 10 million people suffer from this skin condition called eczema? It is sad but true; millions of people have acquired this skin condition. The sad part is that many people do not even know that there are certain things they can do in their lives to prevent further outbreaks from occurring.

    You can even take steps today on how to prevent eczema; stop it before it happens.

    Organic Infant Clothing to the Most secure Clothing Line 0

    Organic baby garments is the greatest alternative for parents who would like the best because of their babies. It is the well-liked selection of garments series pertaining to babies currently. Organic baby clothes are products that tend to be associated with becoming environment friendly. The newborn clothes are bound to come from natural and organic fibres which are produced from natural handle only along with surely without having chemical substances or man-made pesticides.

    Effortlessly Grown Crops

    Though many of us are already conscious on the advantages and benefits associated with choosing natural and organic meals, only a few are aware which what we wear, especially just what each of our babies wear, uses the greatest level of pesticides. Your fibres produced from herbs which are utilized in generating our laundry along with other household resources tend to be created using manure along with pesticides. Using one third of the pound of these chemical substances, it really is believed to increase cotton ample for starters tank top. Just imagine if you make the babies wear outfits other than natural and organic baby garments, it is like you will be making these people soak up the many chemical substances used during the growth on the crop.

    Damaging Pesticide sprays

    Allowing your infant wear natural and organic baby garments will be the first thing to do. Your fibres utilized in natural and organic baby clothes are completely exempt from harmful pesticides. Synthetic pesticides are used on herbs to drive out harmful pests. Using pesticides will not only have an effect on the actual shoppers on the herbs but in addition the actual neighborhood non-farming towns. Everyone is poisoned with the unseen along with odor free killer these kinds of pesticides produce. Man made manure which are shifting though the underwater surroundings tend to be the reason for their dead zoom region. Using the steady utilization of man-made manure along with pesticides, additional farmland along with farm individuals along with oceanic masses are now being contaminated.

    Your Most secure Choice

    We view environmental surroundings nowadays as environmental surroundings babies will are now living in. And as mom and dad along with adults, we merely wish these kinds of youngsters to have the better if lifetime may at any time supply. Among the standard requirements associated with individual will be the garments. And in many cases if it’s the common requires of each unique, it is just right to acquire outfits which are most dependable along with best just like natural and organic baby garments. Nevertheless let’s certainly not target babies on your own, using natural and organic baby outfits should not only be pertaining to babies along with youngsters. Perhaps adults along with especially mothers tend to be asked to move natural and organic. When the mom starts to health professional their particular babies, the potential risk of acquiring way to kill pests poisoning also commences. There has been numerous reports exhibiting which infants experience harmful chemical substances even before becoming born. Pesticide sprays along with other harmful chemical substances tend to be considered the actual responsible for increase in most cancers risk and reduce inside sperm count along with also affects adversely the actual nervous system.

    Using the clear risk associated with synthetically produced fibres, there isn’t a explanation why you ought to certainly not decide on natural and organic baby garments. Buy them in Real along with Sincere Kids along with shield your young ones from the many risks these kinds of pesticides can provide these people. Search from their numerous assortment and stay content knowing that you will be generating the correct move.

    Source: http://floquet.net/?p=650 
    • Mikee Mercader

    Choose Organic for Your Green Lifestyle 0

     

    Organics And The Environment

    The USDA estimates that within the next ten years half of all America’s farm products will come from only 1% of the farms. The EPA also states that commercial agriculture is accountable for 70% of the pollution in our country’s rivers and streams. Small-scale organic farmers finance innovative and far reaching research designed to minimize agriculture’s impact on the environment. They preserve bio-diversity by planting heirloom varieties of plants and harvesting seeds for future crops. The loss of a large variety of species is one of the worlds most pressing environmental concerns. The good news is that many organic farmers and gardeners have been gathering, preserving seeds and growing unusual and unique varieties for decades.

    Organic farming methods naturally enrich the soil with manure and compost. Well balanced soils product healthy, strong plants, nourishing for both people and animals. Organic agriculture can be a lifeline for small farms as it offers an alternative market where sellers can command fair and equatable prices for crops. Organic farming may be one of the last ways to assure the survival of both our ecosystems and our rural farming communities .

    Conventional farming endangers farm workers and their families. Scientific research confirms pesticide-related health problems which include cancer, birth defects, memory loss, paralysis and death. Unsecured storage, improper application methods and unsafe handling and transportation procedures are not at all uncommon and often lead to tragic mishaps. As pests develop resistance, farmers desperate to maintain or increase crop yields often resort to more and more applications of expensive and stronger chemical products. Facing rising costs, depleted fields and contaminated ground water, many small farmers have been forced to abandon their livelihood.

    Organic farming, on the other hand, is not only safer and healthier for farmers, but also promotes just compensation in the supply chain. Organic farming provides an economically viable and socially acceptable alternative to large-scale farming and the accompanying dependence on government crop subsidies. Support of the small farmer supports America’s economy.

    Organic production dramatically reduces health risks. Many EPA-approved pesticides were registered and approved prior to extensive research linking these noxious chemicals to cancer and other significant health problems. Crop dusting has often resulted in drifts of toxic pesticides from fields to residential areas.

    Organic agriculture is one way to prevent more of these chemicals from contaminating the earth that sustains us. An increasing body of research indicates that pesticides and other contaminants are considerably more prevalent in the foods we eat, in our bodies and in the environment than we previously believed.

    Organic Textiles

    By the end of 2008, the sale of organic textiles worldwide is expected to exceed billion indicating that global demand for organic textiles is increasing in response to consumer demand. Organic production takes more time, requires more skills and knowledge, and at least for now, costs somewhat more. But it is worth it as organic materials do not contain any hidden costs to the environment.

    Choose Earth Friendly Products! Choose Organic!

    The consumption and use of green technologies is all about the challenges and choices we face if we are to enjoy a high quality of life within the limited resources of our world. If we become passionate about sustainability, together we can make the planet a cleaner and healthier place for all of us to live.

    Do you wish to embrace a lifestyle that protects our children’s future? Do you want to to live in the greenest environment possible with a conscience and respect and appreciation for the earth? The quality of life for future generations is dependent on the choices we make today!

    Surveys reflect that about a fourth of the US adult population has a profound sense of environmental enlightenment and social responsibility. Almost half of us will buy organic and make earth friendly choices in many aspects of our daily living. Consumer education and awareness is a powerful force for change.

    The consumption of organically grown products has increase by 20 per cent in the last year alone. Organic alternatives are readily available and the trend is escalating. Sustainability should be within everyone’s reach. Our choices matter and have a long term global impact.

    Source: http://rofx.net/self-improvement/choose-organic-for-your-green-lifestyle/

    • Mikee Mercader

    Organic Cotton Socks are Comfortable and Environment Friendly 4

    Everyone is aware of the significant changes happening in the environment due to heavy industrialization and development. The environment continues to lose its natural resources due to various kinds of toxins and chemicals polluting it. Through out the world, people are slowly shifting towards to a greener safer environment.

    • Admin Cottonique

    Dyes- Synthetic and "Natural" 3

     

    I thought we’d take a look at the dyeing process because so many people ask if we use “natural” dyes. The answer is no, we don’t (although we’re not entirely objecting to natural dyes), and I hope the next two blogs will explain our position! Let’s first take a look at what makes the dyes (and how they are applied) an area of concern.

    Dyeing cloth is one of our oldest industries; people used natural products found around them to change the color of the fibers used to make their cloth – things like leaves, berries, or roots. The first synthetic dye was created in 1856. Today the use of natural dyes on a commercial scale has almost disappeared (except for a resurgence in the craft market) in favor of the newer synthetic dyes. The production of synthetic chemical dyestuffs has become big business, but unfortunately the production and use of these synthetic dyes is one of the world’s most polluting industries. Conventional synthetic dyes present health risks to those working with them and to those who wear them, as well as damaging the environment in a number of ways. Why?

    Dyes are compounds that can be dissolved in solvents, usually water. The process of dyeing cloth uses a great quantity of water – according to the United States EPA, it takes an average of 5 – 35 gallons of water for every pound of finished fabric. That translates into 125 – 875 gallons of water to dye 25 yards of fabric – enough to cover one sofa![1]

    The dyes in solution are absorbed by the fibers. The process of transferring the dye from the water to the fiber is called exhaustion or “fixation rate”, with 100% exhaustion meaning there is no dye left in the dyebath solution. Most conventional dyes have an exhaustion rate of 80%, meaning the dyestuff which is not affixed to the fiber is flushed into our rivers with the spent process water. Each year the global textile industry discharges 40,000 – 50,000 tons of dye into our rivers, and more than 200,000 tons of salt.[2]

    One of the most pressing issues today is the lack of fresh drinking water, and as one of the most polluting industries, textiles – and especially the dyeing of textiles – is responsible for many instances of pollution making fresh water undrinkable. In the worst cases, communities have to use polluted water to drink, wash clothes, bathe and irrigate crops and the toxins they’re exposed to can have catastrophic effects. Even in those instances where water treatment is in place, toxic sludge is a byproduct of the process. Often sludge is sent to the landfill, but the toxicity of the sludge remains – containing, among others, heavy metals, gypsum, malachite green (identified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a priority chemical for carcinogenicity testing).

    pink-sewage-300_tcm18-156872

    The 40,000 to 50,000 tons of synthetic dyestuffs expelled into our rivers are complex chemical formulations containing some things that are very toxic to us, such as heavy metals (like lead, mercury, chromium, zinc, cobalt and copper), benzene and formaldehyde. Many certifications, such as the new Global Organic Textile Standard and Oeko-Tex, restricts the kinds of chemicals allowed in certified products. For example, GOTS restricts amine releasing AZO dyes and disperse dyes (must be <30 mg/kg); chromium, cobalt, copper, nickel, mercury, lead, antimony and arsenic are all restricted (rather than prohibited as many people believe). So the dye formulation means a lot when you’re evaluating the eco credentials of a fabric – but almost never will you be able to find out what dye was used in any particular fabric. Copyright: Jucheng Hu

    In addition to the formulation, there are requirements that dyestuffs must meet regarding oral toxicity, aquatic toxicity, biodegradability, eliminability and bi-accumulation in fatty tissues. The GOTS details are on their website: www.global-standard.org. Some dyestuff producers advertise that they have a dye group that meets these standards, such as Huntsman and Clariant. So the formulation of dyes used makes a big difference – look for dyestuffs that have been certified by a third party, such as GOTS.

    Remember that if the average exhaustion rate is 80% for most dyes (i.e., that 20% of the dyestuff is expelled with the wastewater) then that means that 80% of the dyestuff remains in the fabric! In other words, those toxic chemicals remain in the fabrics you bring into your homes. What do I mean by “toxic” – if you can stand it, I’ll give a short synopsis of the effects some of these chemicals found in many dyestuffs have on us:

    * Mercury: Easily absorbed thru the skin or inhalation of dust which contains residues; effects the immune system, alters genetic and enzyme systems, damages the nervous system. Particularly damaging to developing embryos, which are 5 to 10 times more sensitive than adults.
    * Lead: Easily absorbed thru the skin or inhalation of dust which contains residues. Impacts nervous system. Even low levels of lead can reduce IQ, stunt growth and cause behavior problems.
    * Chromium: Necessary for insulin activity and an essential trace metal; at toxic levels it causes squamous cell carcinoma of the lung.
    * Copper: Fatigue, insomnia, osteoporosis, heart disease, cancer, migraine headaches, seizures. Mental disorders include depression, anxiety, mood swings, phobias, panic attacks and attention deficit disorders.
    * Cadmium: Extremely toxic to humans because of its inhibition of various enzyme systems; primary target organ is the kidney; but also causes lung cancer ; also causes testicular damage and male sterility. Plants readily absorb cadmium from the soil so it easily enters food chain. Chronic exposure is associated with renal disease.
    * Sodium chloride (salt): not toxic in small doses (thankfully for me and my salt addiction), but the industry uses this in such high volumes it becomes an environmental hazard; an organochlorine (the class of organochlorines are very stable (i.e. does not break down into other compounds) and they bioaccumulate; 177 different organochlorines have been found in the average population in Canada and the US. Each person has a unique level at which this build-up becomes critical and triggers a wide range of health problems.) Well known effects of chronic organochlorine contamination include hormonal disruption, infertility and lowered sperm counts, immune system suppression, learning disabilities, behavioral changes, and damage to the skin, liver and kidneys. Newborns, infants, children, childbearing women and the elderly are even more vulnerable to these health impacts.
    * Toluene: affects the central nervous system; symptoms range from slight drowsiness, fatigue and headaches, to irritation of the respiratory tract, mental confusion and incoordination; higher concentrations can result in unconsciousness and death. Prolonged contact can cause dermatitis. Teratogenic, embryotoxic.
    * Benzene: Highly carcinogenic, linked to all types of leukemia but believed to cause the rarer forms (acute myelogenous leukemis (AML) and acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL); effects the bone marrow and decrease of red blood cells, leading to anemia, excessive bleeding and/or immune system disfunction. Low levels cause rapid heart rate, dizziness, headaches, tremors, confusion. Easily absorbed by skin

    Better Thinking Ltd., a UK based organization, took a look at the dyes used in the industry and what they do to us and our environment. They published their findings in a paper called “Dyeing for a Change” which explains the various synthetic dyes available and how they’re used. (Click here to read about it.)

    There are several classes of dyes:

    1. Direct dyes: given this name because they color the fibers “directly” and eliminates the need for a mordant (the chemical fixing agent lots of dyes need). Azo dyes are a type of direct dye made from a nitrogen compound; azo dyes are known to give off a range of carcinogenic particles and have been banned in many places, including the EU. Effluent contains 5 – 20% of original dyestuff, plus salt and dye fixing agents.
    2. Vat dyes: these dyes need a powerful reducing agent, such as alkali, to make them soluble. Expensive and complicated to use, effluent contains 5 – 20% of residual dyestuffs, plus reducing agents, oxidizing agents, detergents and salts.
    3. Sulphur dyes: 90% of all sulphur dyes contain sodium sulphide, which endangers life and alters DNA, corrodes sewage systems, damages treatment works and leads to high pH and unpleasant odors. Effluent contains 30 – 40% of the dyestuff plus alkalis and salt.
    4. Reactive dyes: these dyes bond directly with the fibers, rather than merely remaining as an independent chemical entity within the fiber. Applied with relatively cool water (saving energy) and

    Of all the classes of synthetic dyes, a subset of “reactive” dyes (called “low impact fiber reactive”) seems to be the best environmental choice. As “Dyeing for a Change” explains:

    Low-impact reactive dyes are usually defined as “low impact” because of the supposed lower fixation rate – however, these dyes have a fixation rate of at least 70%, which still leaves much room for improvement. What does make them “low impact” and classified by the EU as eco-friendly: they have been formulated to contain no heavy metals or other known toxic substances, and do not need mordants. The high cost of this dye becomes an environmental advantage, as it is cheaper to reclaim dye from the effluent rather than discharge it all and start from scratch. The water can also be recycled. The dye cycle is shorter than it is for other dye processes, meaning less water, salt and chemicals are needed. The entire process normally occurs at a pH of around 7.0, meaning no acids or alkalis need to be added to the water.

    However, there are still disadvantages: like other environmentally damaging dyes, these dyes are made from synthetic petrochemicals. The process requires very high concentrations of salt (20%-80% of the weight of the goods dyed), alkali and water. Even if the unfixed dye is reclaimed, the effluent from this process can still contain high concentrations of salts, surfactants and defoamers, and is strongly alkaline. It’s also quite expensive, whereas conventional dye is cheap. This process’ effluent normally contains salt, alkali, detergent and between 20% to 50% of dye used. As reactive dyes currently make up 50% of world dye consumption, more knowledge on how to improve upon this method is needed.

    Fortunately, research is being undertaken in this area, and a number of companies have produced products that improve on its impacts. It’s been found that, by pre-treating cotton with 120g of phosphate buffer per kg of fabric, no salt or alkali is needed in the dyeing process as the process can occur at a neutral pH. It also means the amount of water required can be halved and the whole dyeing process can be significantly reduced, presenting additional benefits in the form of cost savings. Compared to the other chemicals used to dye fabric the conventional way, this is a relatively low concentration, and its high exhaustion value means the effluent would only contain it in small proportions, making it a greener alternative. And British scientists have developed a way to use algae (called diatoms) to color the fabric – eliminating dyes entirely![3]

    So you see why water treatment is critical – even if a dyestuff has a rather benign chemical formulation, the associated salts, defoamers and fixing agents must be dealt with. We chose low impact fiber reactive GOTS approved dyestuffs for our fabrics – and we made sure that all wastewater is treated adequately before release. But that’s not good enough – partly because there is still the question of the sludge created during the process and partly because we need to make sure that ALL process inputs have a benign chemical profile.

    • Mikee Mercader

    Latex Allergy Warning For Asthmatics 0

     

    Individuals who work in health-care industries such as hospitals, medical offices, and dental offices are generally aware that they are at increased risk for developing latex allergies due to work exposure. However, even non-health care workers, especially children, may also be vulnerable.

    There are three types of latex reactions. Irritant dermatitis, the most common reaction, is skin irritation caused by the rubbing of latex against the skin, usually rubber gloves. Contact dermatitis is a delayed skin reaction which occurs 24-48 hours after exposure to latex. Common causes of this include latex gloves or shoe insoles. An immediate hypersensitivity response happens quickly as a result of either contact with or inhalation on latex particles. It can include itching, nasal congestion, eye irritation, wheezing, coughing, laryngospasm, low blood pressure, and respiratory failure.

    It is estimated that 1-5% of the general population has latex allergies while 2-17% of health care workers and 10% of rubber industry workers have similar reactions. Individuals at increased risk of developing latex allergies include those with asthma, atopic eczema and preexisting food allergy problems. Those who have had frequent urologic procedures, especially at a young age, are more susceptible, probably from exposure to latex catheters.

    Other sources of latex exposure may include gloves, tourniquets, IV tubing ports, condoms, diaphragms, balloon-blowing, dental dams, erasers, mouse pads, shoe soles, elastic in clothing, adhesive tapes and bandages, orthodontic elastics, pacifiers and baby bottle nipples, goggles, and many other items. Severe reactions may occur during childbirth or during surgery which can quickly become life-threatening.

    Many individuals with latex allergies may have a cross-reactivity reaction with many common foods including avocado, potatoes, tomatoes, bananas, chestnuts, kiwi fruit, and passion fruit. Apples, apricots, nectarines, celery, cherries, figs, grapes, melon, milk, papayas, peaches, and pineapples may also have cross-reactive allergic affects on those who are sensitive to latex.

    If an individual suspects that they or their child may be allergic to latex, it is advisable to get advice from an allergist. Diagnostic testing may include patch testing or RAST blood testing. Skin testing may be done only with close medical supervision as potentially life-threatening reactions may occur.

    Those with known latex allergies should wear a medic-alert bracelet and notify their doctor and dentist. If they need dental or surgical procedures, they need to make sure that all of the individuals involved in their care be aware of their allergies and use substitute products or cover any latex-containing items that might touch the skin. It is also advisable for those with the immediate hypersensitivity response type of reaction to carry an emergency epinephrine injection pen at all times. In most cases, even those with severe latex allergies can lead perfectly normally lives as long as appropriate precautions are taken.

    • Mikee Mercader