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Certified Organic Clothing

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Certified Organic Clothing

People who are suffering from multiple chemical allergies and have skin problems may find relief with certified organic clothing.

People who are suffering from multiple chemical allergies and have skin problems may find relief with certified organic clothing.

One company which imports and produces this healthier alternative notes there can be many dangers associated with standard garments. Heather Morrisey, vice president of the Cloud Mountain organic clothing company, has worked for 17 years in the garment industry. She says conventional cotton clothes are processed with chlorine bleach, which produces dioxin, a known carcinogen responsible for hormone disruption. Hydrogen peroxide and formaldehyde are other disease-causing agents, as are the heavy metals used during the dye process.

Morrisey points out that standard cotton production accounts for more than 10 per cent of pesticides used and nearly 23 per cent of agricultural insecticide sales. In fact, it takes one-quarter of a pound of chemicals to produce one cotton T-shirt or two pairs of men’s boxer shorts.

These chemicals may be eaten as they enter the human food chain via cottonseed oil used in processed foods, Morrisey adds. The meat and dairy products from cows fed cottonseed meal, trash from cotton gins and cotton straw may also contain pesticides that were applied to cotton.

Contamination of ground water is directly linked to pesticide and fertilizer use on cotton crops. This can have a drastic impact on our health and the health of our children. For example, the nitrates found in these fertilizers is linked to "blue baby syndrome" in infants, a birth defect resulting in poor oxygen blood flow to body tissues.

In contrast to conventional farming methods, Morrisey notes that there are significant benefits to growing organic. First, it doesn’t damage the soil, environment or human health. Organically grown cotton is free of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.

In addition, organic certification does not allow genetically engineered fibre to be labelled as organic, so certified organic garments are GE-free. Organic cotton is also stronger and lasts longer because there is no damage to the fibre from chemical processing. Responding to the needs of chemically-sensitive buyers, some producers don’t use dyes to artificially color their garments.

Such healthier alternatives to traditional cottonware are often found in naturally-oriented retail outlets and health food stores. Ask your local health store for details. Products already on the market include men’s, women’s and children’s clothes, bedding and mattresses made from certified organic cotton. It is to be hoped that companies move into other areas like environmentally-friendly furniture very soon.

I know people sick with environmental or ecological illness who would welcome these organic innovations. Many people have suffered to such an extent that they have had to remove all foam rubber furniture and synthetic rugs from their homes and car seats.

For some people this is a must. For others who want to upgrade their home environment, it will be a great step forward.

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