We need to take responsibility for our personal health and safety, as well as for the health of the people in our lives that depend on us for guidance the exercise of good judgment.
That starts with taking care of our body. As Jim Rohn once said “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” The best way to take care of our body is eating right food, having enough sleep and exercising.
This is a well-known fact and taking these three basic steps can keep us healthy. But there are other factors that can cause harm to our health, if ignored. Like working in a toxic environment or wearing harmful chemical coated clothes.
How we eat is how we live and how we wear is how we look. But there is more to it. Empowering ourselves with information about how to make right buying decision is the first step forward to a healthy lifestyle. This is true for food as well as clothes, home furnishing, upholstery and cosmetics. After all, these things surround us all day. Why not make them worth for us?
Lets talk about cotton. At a production rate of 25 million tons a year, cotton is one of the top four GMO crops in the world—and nearly 95 percent of that global cotton production is GMO and/or conventionally grown. Cotton earned the title “dirtiest crop” because it’s sprayed with some of the worst pesticides, including: Bayer’s aldicarb, which was banned in the U.S. in 2010, but reapproved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2016; Syngenta’s paraquat, a highly toxic pesticide banned in the European Union but not in the U.S.; and Monsanto’s glyphosate, classified by the World Health Organization as a “probable” human carcinogen.
Those and other toxic chemicals associated with cotton production pollute waterways and damage the health of farmworkers. They also contaminate consumer products. GMO cotton isn’t just used to make clothes, bedding, towels and other textile products. Cottonseed oil and other cotton crop waste products also end up in hundreds of processed foods.
The best way to avoid GMO cotton textiles? Buy certified organic. Here are nine reasons to choose organic clothing, bedding and other products:
1. Protect the oceans from microfiber pollution Conventional cotton used for clothing and textiles is usually combined with synthetic fabrics such as acrylic, fleece and polyester. Research shows that during washing, these synthetic fibers are released into our waterways, in the form of microfibers. The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources estimates that around 1.7 million tons of microfibers enter the ocean each year, threatening marine species and sensitive coral reef ecosystems. Don’t want to contribute to the problem? Avoid synthetic fabrics altogether, including conventional cotton blends. Instead, choose clothing and textiles made from 100 percent pure and organic cotto
2. Reduce your exposure to hazardous insecticides and pesticides Conventionally grown GMO cotton is one of the most toxic crops in the world. It makes up only 2.5 percent of global cropland, and yet it accounts for up to 25 percent of the world’s use of insecticides. In addition to being responsible for the use of toxic chemicals such as aldicarb and paraquat, GMO cotton is sprayed with large amounts of Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide. Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, was classified as “probably carcinogenic to human,” by the World Health Organization. Glyphosate has been linked to metabolic syndrome, obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, cancer and depression. Organic cotton farmers use only organic-approved fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides from plants, animals and minerals to prevent pests and diseases. This slashes your risk of health issues, while also protecting farmworkers and reducing environmental pollution.
3. Conserve global water and energy resources It takes 1,800 gallons of water to produce enough cotton for a pair of jeans. In fact, the water needs of cotton are so high that cotton production has contributed to the draining of the Aral Sea in Central Asia. Organic cotton has a much lower environmental footprint. Production of organic cotton takes 71 percent less water and 62 percent less energy than production of conventional GMO cotton.
4. Reduce your exposure to harsh chemicals used in the cotton manufacturing process A variety of toxic chemicals are used in the manufacture of conventional cotton clothing, depending on where the garments are made and what characteristics the manufacturer wants to achieve. For example, “easy care” garments that are marketed as antimicrobial, anti-odor and anti-wrinkle may be saturated in formaldehyde. Other chemicals used in the production of conventional cotton garments include chlorine bleach, ammonia, heavy metals and phthalates, a known endocrine disruptor. Azo-aniline dyes are also commonly used. These dyes can cause mild to severe skin irritations, especially where there is friction between your skin and the fabric. Organic cotton products don’t use any of these chemicals, and use only low-impact and fiber-reactive dyes to get a lasting color
5. Help provide better working conditions for cotton farmers The conventional cotton industry has been linked to numerous human rights violations. In Uzbekistan, Environmental Justice Foundation found widespread environmental and human right abuses in the cotton industry, including state-sponsored forced child labor. One-third of the Uzbekistan population works for the government-owned cotton industry. Workers have no access to protective gear or even a clean source of drinking water. Buying products made of organic cotton promotes a safer work conditions for cotton farmers, by eliminating workers’ exposure to dangerous chemicals.