Tag Archives: Organic Cotton Clothing

CDC confirms masks also protect the wearer, outlines which ones are most effective

Multilayer masks are key — and surgical masks are a great option

The CDC notes that multilayer masks are effective in that they “block release of exhaled respiratory particles into the environment, along with the microorganisms these particles carry.” Researchers from the University of New South Wales confirmed this in a July study published in Thorax in which they recorded healthy individuals releasing respiratory droplets using and LED lighting system and a high-speed camera.

The individuals were filmed wearing three separate masks: a single-ply mask made from cotton T-shirts and hair ties, a double-ply mask sewn from cotton T-shirts, and a three-ply surgical mask. The three-ply surgical mask provided the most protection, but the two-ply mask provided more protection from droplets produced while coughing or sneezing than the single-ply mask did, leading the experts to conclude that “guidelines on home-made cloth masks should stipulate multiple layers.”

Cloth masks with more than one layer and a high thread count do provide protection

Although there has been debate on whether or not cloth masks offer protection, the CDC endorsed the use of cloth masks in its briefing this week, saying that the face coverings “not only effectively block most large droplets but they can also block the exhalation of fine droplets and particles (also often referred to as aerosols) smaller than 10 microns.”

The organization notes that multilayer cloth masks are particularly effective, blocking “50-70 percent of these fine droplets and particles and limit[ing] the forward spread of those that are not captured.” The CDC added, as other experts have, that masks with higher thread counts offer more protection than those with low thread counts. For more detailed instructions on how to make your own mask, visit the CDC’s information page.

Neck gaiters, unless doubled, do not offer much protection — but are better than nothing

Much confusion circulated this summer about the value of neck gaiters after a Duke University study, designed to find an accessible way to test masks, initially gave the impression that the face covering could make things worse. Since then, experts have clarified that a neck gaiter is unlikely to be causing more spread of the virus and, according to experts at MIT, may actually be “better than nothing.

Dr. Amesh A. Adalja, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, advised against wearing them. “I probably would stay away from the gaiters as a mask of choice because we at least have some evidence that some don’t necessarily work,” Adalja said. “Until we get more data, I would not probably recommend the use of gaiter.” But for neck-gaiter diehards, the safest option may be to double up, per one study from Virginia Tech, which found that doing so may be as effective as a cloth mask.

Bandanas and face shields are not recommended

One of the crucial elements of a face-covering, according to experts, is containing one’s own respiratory droplets. A bandana, which is typically open at the bottom, is likely unable to do this. On top of this, the face coverings are typically made of material that is unable to contain large droplets. It’s for this reason that they are listed as a “last resort” by the CDC, only to be used when nothing else is available.

Face shields, which are typically made of plastic, offer more protection than bandanas, protecting an individuals eyes, which can be a route of transmission. But the CDC says that “there is currently not enough evidence to support the effectiveness of face shields for source control.” For this reason, the organization does not recommend wearing one unless an individual, for medical reasons, cannot wear a face mask.

N95s are not recommended for use by the general public

There’s a reason that fitted N95 masks were already commonplace among healthcare workers, and that’s because they provide the ultimate protection from respiratory droplets. Although it may be tempting for those who are extremely concerned about the virus, the Food and Drug Administration cautions against laypeople searching for them.

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend that the general public wear N95 respirators to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including coronavirus (COVID-19),” the FDA writes. “Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for health care workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.”

What you need to know

  1. People age 2 and older should wear masks in public settings and when around people who don’t live in their household.​
  2. Masks offer some protection to you and are also meant to protect those around you, in case you are unknowingly infected with the virus that causes COVID-19.
  3. A mask is NOT a substitute for social distancing. Masks should still be worn in addition to staying at least 6 feet apart.
  4. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol after touching or removing your mask.
  5. Masks may not be necessary when you are outside by yourself away from others, or with other people who live in your household. However, some localities may have mask mandates while out in public and these mandates should always be followed.
  6. CDC is still studying the effectiveness of different types of masks and will update our recommendations as new scientific evidence becomes available.

Disclaimer: Classiccotton blog is are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through our blog

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover-guidance.html

CDC website

Main image: Pixabay – mohamed_hassan

How to Select, Wear, and Clean Your Mask

CDC recommends that people wear masks in public settings, like on public and mass transportation, at events and gatherings, and anywhere they will be around other people.Overview

  1. Wear masks with two or more layers to stop the spread of COVID-19
  2. Wear the mask over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin
  3. Masks should be worn by people two years and older
  4. Masks should NOT be worn by children younger than two, people who have trouble breathing, or people who cannot remove the mask without assistance
  5. Do NOT wear masks intended for healthcare workers, for example, N95 respirators
  6. CDC does not recommend the use of face shields alone. Evaluation of face shields is ongoing but effectiveness is unknown at this time.
  7. Evaluation of mask and gaiter materials and structure is ongoing.

How to Select

When selecting a mask, there are many choices. Here are some do’s and don’ts.

DO choose masks that: have 2 or more layers of washable, breathable fabric; completely cover your nose and mouth; fit snugly against the sides of your face and don't have gaps.
DO NOT choose masks that: are made of fabric that makes it hard to breath, for example, vinyl; have exhalation valves or vents which allow virus particles to escape; are intended for healthcare workers, including N95 respirators or surgical masks.
Gaiter and face shields
Special Situations: Children - If you are able, find a mask that is made for children; If you can’t find a mask made for children, check to be sure the mask fits snugly over the nose and mouth and under the chin; Do NOT put on children younger than 2 years old.
Special Situations: Glasses - If you wear glasses, find a mask that fits closely over your nose or one that has a nose wire to limit fogging.

How to Wear

Wear a mask correctly and consistently for the best protection.

  1. Be sure to wash your hands before putting on a mask
  2. Do NOT touch the mask when wearing it
Do wear a mask that: Covers your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin; Fits snugly against the sides of your face.

Do wear a mask that

  1. Covers your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin
  2. Fits snugly against the sides of your face

For more information, visit our How to Wear Masks web page

How NOT to wear a mask: around your neck, on your forehead, under your nose, only on your nose, on your chin, dangling from one ear, on your arm.
How to take off mask: Carefully, untie the strings behind your head or stretch the ear loops; Handle only by the ear loops or ties; Fold outside corners together; Be careful not to touch your eyes, nose, and mouth when removing and wash hands immediately after removing.

How to Clean

Masks should be washed regularly. Always remove masks correctly and wash your hands after handling or touching a used mask.

  1. Include your mask with your regular laundry
  2. Use regular laundry detergent and the warmest appropriate water setting for the cloth used to make the mask
  3. Use the highest heat setting and leave in the dryer until completely dry

For more information, visit our How to Wash Masks web page.

For more information, see our Masks web site. For information on the sources for our mask guidance, see Recent Studies.

Content source: National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD)Division of Viral Diseases

This article is produces “as is” from CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/about-face-coverings.html

Main Image courtesy- Pixabay, justinkilian1 /

How long coronavirus live on clothing?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the coronavirus is usually transmitted through respiratory droplets (from an infected person sneezing or coughing) rather than through fomites, objects and materials that when contaminated can transfer disease. However, the CDC notes that evidence suggests that the novel coronavirus may remain viable for hours to days on surfaces made from a variety of materials, which includes clothing.

Articles of clothing, according to public health specialist Carol Winner, can hold respiratory droplets, as we use them every single day. These particles can dry out over time and inactivate the virus. But this doesn’t mean that it will happen quickly, and she said scientists are still learning more and more about this virus each day.

Robert Amler, dean of the School of Health Sciences and Practice at New York Medical College and a former CDC chief medical officer, told HuffPost that the duration of the virus depends on the fabric, as some materials are more porous than others.

“Some researchers believe the fibers in porous material catch the virus particles, dry them out and break them apart,” Amler said. “Smooth surfaces like leather and vinyl can be wiped clean.”

Family and emergency Dr. Janette Nesheiwat suggested that polyester, spandex-like material may retain germs longer than breathable cotton-based fabrics, making it important to wash leggings, underwear and dresses carefully (more on how to do that later!).

Polyester spandex-like material may retain germs longer than cotton-based fabrics, but all types of fabrics can be contaminated,” Nesheiwat said.

As information and research pertaining to COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, continues to evolve, Winner stressed that so far studies focused on it tells us about the virus’ ability to remain on surfaces such as cardboard, steel, copper and plastic-door knobs and high-traffic areas.

“The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease has told us that some viruses can remain active after two or three days on plastic and stainless steel, 24 hours on cardboard and four hours on copper,” she said. Be aware that some of your buttons, zippers and other clothing hardware could be made of those materials.

If you suspect contamination, take off your clothes as soon you can after the exposure. When taking off your clothes, try not to touch your face or contaminate other things with the clothes. After they are off your body, place your clothes in a safe location where they can’t potentially contaminate other things.

Whenever handling any clothes that may have the virus, whether they are your clothes or someone else’s, such as someone whom you know has COVID-19, follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations for handling at-risk clothing. Wear disposable gloves, if available, and toss them, the gloves and not the clothing, immediately after use. If you only have non-disposable gloves, keep them dedicated to situations where you are touching or disinfecting things that may have the coronavirus. Don’t use them subsequently for anything else like cooking or doing face palms. If you have no gloves readily available, keep your hands away from your face while handling the laundry, and wash your hands thoroughly immediately after touching the laundry.

If someone is sick, the guidelines change when someone in your household has a confirmed case or symptoms. The CDC recommends:

  1. Wear disposable gloves when handling dirty laundry, and wash your hands right after you take them off.
  2. Try not to shake the dirty laundry, to avoid sending the virus into the air.
  3. Follow the manufacturers’ instructions for whatever you’re cleaning, using the warmest water possible. Dry everything completely.
  4. It’s fine to mix your own laundry in with the sick person’s. And don’t forget to include the laundry bag, or use a disposable garbage bag instead.

Wipe down the hamper, following the appropriate instructions.

Reference: https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20200401/coronavirus-on-fabric-what-you-should-know#:~:text=So%20far%2C%20evidence%20suggests,elevator%20buttons%20or%20door%20handles

https://www.forbes.com/sites/brucelee/2020/05/01/how-long-does-covid-19-coronavirus-survive-on-clothes-how-to-wash-them/?sh=61a0324064e6

Image Courtsey: Pixabay.com

How to safely shop for clothes?

After months of lock down and stores and restaurants reopening, it can be really a challenge to go back in stores and buy stuff. We have to get groceries and other important stuff but how about clothing? How to go back in stores and try clothes? I know some people not buying clothes at all. But for some it can be hard to put a full stop on clothing shopping formonths. So how do we do it safely? Lets look a it.

According to a recent survey by First Insight, only 33 percent of U.S. customers feel safe shopping at a mall. And even more than that, 65 percent of women and 54 percent of men say they wouldn’t be comfortable using a dressing room. But while many remain hesitant, some people have braved shopping at stores post-COVID-19. USA Today shopping editor, Courtney Campbell says “I was initially a little nervous about the idea of shopping for clothes in stores again, but protocols like masks, a limited number of people, and the fact that the stores were disinfecting the items that people were trying on eased my concerns,” she says.

Another survey by MysizeID found that the majority of millennials would prefer contactless payment options and purchases made via mobile devices. Gen Z would like the ability to book a private fitting room, while the majority of baby boomers want retailers to hold returned merchandise for 48 hours before it goes back on the shelves. In other words, consumers have concerns.

Is it possible to catch the coronavirus from clothes?

According to William Lang, director at the concierge medicine practice WorldClinic, fabrics do not harbor the virus for very long. However, since we are still learning new things about the coronavirus every day, it is difficult to measure the risk factor associated with trying on garments. “The data is still not completely clear on this,” Lang said.

The greater risk of contracting the virus in a store is if a fellow shopper coughs, sneezes or even talks. If their droplets reach you, whether through the air or on a surface, you could become infected.

Articles of clothing, according to public health specialist Carol Winner, can hold respiratory droplets, as we use them every single day. These particles can dry out over time and inactivate the virus. But this doesn’t mean that it will happen quickly, and she said scientists are still learning more and more about this virus each day.

Even though stores are reopening across the country, shopping post-coronavirus will look a lot different than it used to. Retailers like Target, Nordstorm and Kohl’s  are putting new measures in place to help prevent the spread of the virus. Many are operating at reduced capacity, limiting the number of people who can be in the store at one time to ensure social distancing. Others are also closing dressing rooms, having more staff members on hand to regularly sanitize carts and baskets, and enacting more thorough sanitizing processes for returned or tried-on clothing.

Among the retailers who have revamped their shopping processes are American Eagle and Aerie. “We’ve removed some of the fixtures in our stores to account for social distancing, and we’re requiring that all guests and employees wear masks,” Hannah Grice, a sales associate at Aerie in Baltimore, Md., explains. “We’ve also put into place strict guidelines around maximum store capacities and we’re cleaning constantly (including registers and fitting rooms in between each guest) so that every individual can have the best shopping experience possible as we all adjust to our new normal.”

Many stores have closed dressing rooms but some, like Aerie, have not and customers are still able to try on clothes while shopping. But is it a smart idea? Proceed at your own risk, experts say. There haven’t been enough studies done to determine how long coronavirus lives on fabric but if someone with the virus has touched the clothing and then you touch your eyes or face, there’s a chance you could get sick. To reduce your risk, sanitize your hands before and after trying on the clothes or wear disposable gloves if you’re worried. Avoid trying on anything that goes near your face, too, like scarves or sunglasses.

While many stores are providing hand sanitizing stations and wipes, it’s always best to come prepared with your own just in case. The CDC recommends using a hand sanitizer that’s at least 60 percent alcohol before you enter the store and then again after you leave. Because hand sanitizer is still such a hot commodity.

Per the CDC’s recommendations—and many stores’ requirements—you should always wear a cloth face mask while you’re out shopping in public to prevent the spread of COVID-19. While there are plenty of retailers selling face masks online right now, our apparel expert at Reviewed tested out some of the most popular ones and ranked the best cloth face masks you can buy based on factors like comfort and quality.

Another smart thing to carry with you when shopping is a pack of sanitizing wipes (here’s where to find cleaning wipes still in stock). The CDC suggests wiping down “high-touch” areas like dressing room door knobs, drawer pulls, screens, etc. before touching them. Many retailers have team members sanitizing all of those areas on a regular basis but you can also bring your own for extra precautions.

Do you need to sanitize your new clothes?

According to experts and the CDC, you don’t need to be too concerned about bringing coronavirus into your home via your new purchases, especially with retailers engaging in stricter sanitation procedures. “Based on recommendations from the CDC, you don’t need to sanitize clothing to be safe,” our senior lab testing technician (and resident germ guru) Jonathan Chan, says. However, he adds, “If you’re worried, leave clothes out for three days, then wash them like you normally would to remove excess and sizing chemicals.” (Coronavirus only lives on surfaces for up to 72 hours, scientists have found.) 

What if you’re not ready to shop in store again?

If you are not then don’t. Most of the brands are online and we might get used to of online clothing shopping for a while. Better safe than sorry.

Source: https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/reviewedcom/2020/06/29/how-safely-shop-clothes-person-during-coronavirus-pandemic/3277673001/

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/how-long-coronavirus-live-clothing-washing_l_5e724927c5b6eab779409e74

How do I choose a cloth face mask?

Question: Which cloth masks does MIT Medical recommend? My family is trying to find some to purchase, but it’s confusing, since there are so many options available. In addition, would you recommend using masks with filters?

Answer: MIT Medical can’t recommend specific products, but your question offers a good opportunity to discuss the characteristics that make a cloth mask most effective. Whether you’re purchasing a cloth mask or making one yourself, there are three main considerations: fabric, fit, and thickness.

Fabric: When it comes to fabric, the tightness of the weave is crucial. At a bare minimum, you want the weave to be tight enough that you don’t see the outline of the individual fibers when you hold the material up to light. But tighter is better. A study comparing the aerosol filtration efficiencies of a number of different fabrics found that a high-thread-count (600 TPI) cotton fabric far outperformed a moderate-thread-count (80 TPI) quilter’s cotton for particles of all sizes.

As far as fabric type, filtering experiments show tightly woven 100% cotton outperforming most synthetics. This may be because synthetic fibers are relatively smooth at the microscopic level, while cotton fibers have a somewhat three-dimensional structure that likely creates additional barriers to both outgoing and incoming particles.

Another study suggests that you can increase the effectiveness of a multi-layer mask by combining one layer of cotton with a different material. Researchers evaluated the filtering efficiency of masks made from one layer of 600-thread-count cotton and either two layers of natural silk or chiffon (in this case, a 90% polyester–10% Spandex weave) or a single layer of flannel (a 65% cotton–35% polyester blend). Materials chosen for the non-cotton layers were thought likely to provide good electrostatic filtering, a process that traps particles through the same kind of “cling” effect created by static electricity. Not only did the hybrid masks outperform all other two- or three-layer masks made of a single material, they were superior to N95 masks for particles smaller than 300 nanometers and only slightly inferior for larger particles.

Fit: Of course, no fabric or fabric combination will work as intended if your mask doesn’t fit properly. Research indicates that leakages around the sides of a mask can degrade filtering efficiencies by 50 percent or more. Lack of such leakage is one reason why properly worn N95 masks work so well.

A well-fitted mask will hug your face, covering both nose and chin with no obvious gaps. Everyone is shaped differently, so you might end up trying a few different designs before you find one that fits well and feels comfortable — part of the reason we can’t recommend any one product over another. It’s also important that your mask stays put, even when you talk, so you’re not constantly touching it to readjust. Masks with a bendable metal nose strip may help to create a tight seal and hold the mask in place; this can also help prevent glasses from fogging up.

Thickness: Multiple layers are recommended. A well fitting cloth mask should have at least two layers of tightly woven fabric. A third layer provides additional protection, as does the addition of a filter. At least one study suggests that filters made from polypropylene material, which is derived from plastic, are particularly effective. While some people are recommending coffee filters for this purpose, this is not something we would advise. As it turns out, it’s very difficult to breathe through a coffee filter.

Finally, speaking of breathing, avoid those masks that come with valves at the front. While the valve makes it easier to breathe out, it also releases unfiltered air, so it doesn’t protect others if you’re contagious.

This news story has not been updated since the date shown. Information contained in this story may be outdated. For current information about MIT Medical’s services, please see relevant areas of the MIT Medical website.

MIT Medical answers your COVID-19 questions. Got a question about COVID-19? Send it to us at medical@mit.edu, and we’ll do our best to provide an answer.

Source: This article published on MIT website https://medical.mit.edu/covid-19-updates/2020/08/how-do-i-choose-cloth-face-mask

Image courtesy: medical.mit.edu

Wearing a Mask: Myths and Facts

Illustration of the correct and incorrect ways to wear a mask
It’s no myth: It not only matters if you wear a mask but also how you wear it.

You have a responsibility to protect yourself and others around you. Simply wearing a mask can save lives.

Though wearing a mask is one of the most important things you can do to prevent coronavirus infection, there are still many misunderstandings about:

  1. How safe and effective masks are
  2. How to use them properly
  3. When and where masks are needed

Discover the facts behind the myths about coronavirus masks.

Mask Safety and Effectiveness

Myth: Cloth masks don’t protect you.

Fact: Cloth face masks are effective. They create a barrier between your mouth and nose and those around you. This makes it more difficult for the droplets that spread coronavirus through coughs, sneezes and talking to reach other people.

Cloth masks mainly keep you from unknowingly spreading the disease to others, but some studies indicate that they may help protect you from large droplets and serve as an indirect reminder to avoid touching your face.

This is why wearing a cloth mask inside all stores and public transportation has been mandatory at most places. And as more services such as getting a haircut or eating in a restaurant are being allowed, it is as important as ever to continue wearing a mask.

Myth: Other masks are more effective than cloth masks.

Fact: Different types of masks serve different purposes, but cloth masks are highly effective for the general public. The average person who is not working in a medical environment with COVID-19 patients should wear a cloth mask to conserve personal protective equipment (PPE) for medical workers.

Myth: Masks can cause carbon dioxide (CO2) build-up.

Fact: Some people have suggested that carbon dioxide from exhaling gets trapped under the cloth and can make you sick. This isn’t true. Properly fitted masks offer adequate airflow while still covering your nose and mouth. This makes the accumulation of carbon dioxide impossible.

However, people with breathing problems, children under age 2, and those who can’t remove the mask without assistance should not wear one.

How to Wear Masks

Myth: The way you wear a mask is not important.

Fact: Wearing a mask correctly is the key to making it effective at preventing the spread of the coronavirus. According to the CDC, a cloth face mask needs to have the following in order to be effective:

  1. Cover both your nose and mouth
  2. Fit snugly but comfortably against the sides of the face
  3. Be secured with ties or ear loops
  4. Have multiple layers of fabric
  5. Allow for unrestricted breathing
  6. Able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or shape changes

Where and When to Wear a Mask

Myth: You only need to wear a mask if you feel sick.

Fact: According to the CDC, studies suggest that many people who have coronavirus are asymptomatic, meaning they show no symptoms. You may have the disease and unknowingly spread it to others, including those with underlying conditions who have a higher coronavirus risk and are more vulnerable to severe illness. Asymptomatic carriers can increase the disease’s spread if they aren’t taking proper precautions, including wearing a mask, washing their hands frequently and social distancing.

Myth: If you’re home, you don’t need to wear a mask.

Fact: In most cases, this is true. However, if you do feel sick, have mild symptoms, and live with others, it’s important to wear a mask to protect them.

Do not leave your home. Try to isolate yourself from healthy people you live with. Be sure to wear a mask if you leave your quarantine room or if they enter the room you’re quarantining in.

Myth: If you’ve had coronavirus, you don’t need a mask.

Fact: If you’ve had a coronavirus before or had an antibody test come up positive, you may believe that you don’t need to wear a mask. Unfortunately, at this time, there is no way to know whether having coronavirus once provides immunity from the virus again or how long that your immunity might last. This means that you could potentially catch the disease again and spread it to others.

Everyone should wear a cloth mask when in public unless they have breathing problems, are under age two, or can’t remove the mask without assistance.

Myth: You don’t need to wear a mask outside.

Fact: At this time, being outside is generally considered safer than being inside. When taking a stroll or participating in other outdoor activities by yourself or with people you live with, a mask isn’t required.

However, when you find it difficult to maintain at least six feet of distance from people you don’t live with – such as exercising on a sidewalk or eating out at a restaurant – it’s important to have your mask on. You should always have your mask on hand when you leave your home.

Myth: If I’m wearing a mask, I don’t need to stay home.

Fact: As we each make decisions about going out safely, masks are just one strategy in a toolbox of different prevention measures.

Wearing a mask is highly effective and can make your daily life safer for those around you, but it’s not a permission slip to “return to normal.”

It’s important to stay home when you can and continue practicing other coronavirus prevention measures like social distancing to help reduce the spread.

Source: https://www.umms.org/coronavirus/what-to-know/masks

Article published in University of Maryland

Main Image: Courtesy: Pixabay AnnaliseArt

Kids Cannot Handle Chemicals

The clothing we wear can affect our well-being.  Plastic and synthetic clothes can make our skin sick. It is not just the fiber of the cloth that matters; industry has generated various ways to top the fiber with dangerous, toxic and unhealthy chemicals. They come hidden in synthetic dyes and chemicals finishes. Common allergic skin reactions are caused by the formaldehyde, finishing resins, dyes, glues, chemical additives, tanning agents and fire retardants that are used in today’s modern clothing production.

Imagine if it can affect adults health, how much damage it can cause kids with tender skin.

In a policy statement entitled Food Additives and Child Health, the American Academy of Pediatrics warns about these harms — and points out that they often are worse for children. Children are smaller, so their “dose” of any given chemical ends up being higher. They put their hands in their mouths more than adults do, so they are likely to ingest more. Their bodies are still developing, so they can be more at risk of harm — and they are young, so the chemicals have more time to do more damage.

Do we really know what clothing our kids are in? Most of us don’t.  Lets know what kind of chemicals are lurking in our kids clothes and let us kick them out.

Below is a list of chemicals found in kids clothes:

  1. Phthalates:

In the textile industry they are used in artificial leather, rubber and PVC and in some dyes. These can also act like hormones, interfering with male genital development, and can increase the risk of obesity and cardiovascular disease. They are ubiquitous, found not just in plastic packaging, garden hoses, and inflatable toys, but also in things like nail polish, hairsprays, lotions, and fragrances. .

2. Perfluoroalkyl chemicals (PFCs).

In Textile industry they are used to make textile and leather products both water and stain- proof. They can lead to low-birth weight babies, as well as problems with the immune system, the thyroid, and fertility. They are commonly found in grease-proof paper, cardboard packaging, and commercial household products such as water-repellent fabric and nonstick pans, among other places.

3. Nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs)

Nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs) are man-made chemicals that are widely used as surfactants by textiles manufacturers. Once released to the environment, NPEs degrade to nonylphenols (NP), which are known to be toxic and act as hormone disrupters. NP is known to accumulate in many living organisms. The presence of NPEs in finished products shows that they have been used during their manufacture, which is likely to result in the release of NPEs and NP in wastewater from manufacturing facilities. In addition, NPE residues in these products will be washed out during laundering and released into the public wastewater systems of the countries where the products are sold.

4. Organotin compounds

Organotin compounds are used in biocides and as antifungal agents in a range of consumer products. Within the textile industry they have been used in products such as socks, shoes and sport clothes to prevent odour caused by the breakdown of sweat.  One of the best-known organotin compounds is tributyltin (TBT). One of its main uses was in antifouling paints for ships, until evidence emerged that it persists in the environment, builds up in the body and can affect immune and reproductive systems. Its use as an antifouling paint is now largely banned. TBT has also been used in textiles

5. Heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury

Heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury, have been used in certain dyes and pigments used for textiles. These metals can accumulate in the body over time and are highly toxic, with irreversible effects including damage to the nervous system (lead and mercury) or the kidneys (cadmium). Cadmium is also known to cause cancer.

Uses of chromium (VI) include certain textile processes and leather tanning: it is highly toxic even at low concentrations, including to many aquatic organisms.

Some other commonly found chemicals to be alert of:

6. Perchlorate. This chemical also interferes with thyroid function, and can disrupt early brain development. It’s found in some dry food packaging — it’s used to decrease static electricity — and sometimes in drinking water.

7. . Artificial food colors. These have been found to increase symptoms in children who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. They are found in all sorts of food products, but especially those marketed for children.

8. Nitrates and nitrites. These can interfere with the thyroid, as well as with the blood’s ability to deliver oxygen to the body. They can also increase the risk of certain cancers. They are used to preserve food and enhance its color. They are commonly found in processed foods, especially meats.

HERE’S WHAT PARENTS CAN DO:

  1. Just say no to sandals, shoes, boots or raingear made entirely or predominantly from rubber- or plastic-like materials. Keep an eye out when shopping for shoes treated with anti-microbial chemicals.
  2. Rid wardrobes of garments screen printed with plastisol, the thick, rubbery material used to create slightly raised designs and logos.
  3. Don’t purchase clothing promising stain-resistant, waterproof, or odor-fighting performance, technologies which utilize toxic chemicals.
  4. Steer clear of polyester, which frequently contains traces of antimony.
  5. Stick to natural fiber clothing, preferably organic.
  6. Select clothing manufactured in the U.S. and Europe where regulations are generally stricter.
  7. Don’t add insult to injury. Wash clothing in plant-based detergent without synthetic fragrance, which can contain hormone disrupting chemicals. And skip the fragrant dryer sheets.

The Organic Trade Association estimates that one non-organic cotton T-shirt uses one-third pound of pesticides and fertilizers. Cotton production uses one-fourth of all the world’s fertilizers. It’s another good reason to choose organic cotton to add to the ones above.

25 Tips for healthy wear– click here

Here is what the AAP suggests (American Academy of Pediatrics ):

  • Buy and serve more fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, and fewer processed meats, especially during pregnancy.
  • Since heat can cause plastics to leak BPA and phthalates into food, avoid microwaving food or beverages in plastic containers. Also: wash plastics by hand rather than putting them in the dishwasher.
  • Use more glass and stainless steel instead of plastic.
  • Avoid plastics with the numbers 3, 6, and 7 on them.
  • Wash hands thoroughly before and after touching food, and clean all fruits and vegetables well.

And here are a few more ideas:

  • Cut back on canned foods and beverages in general.
  • Cut back on fast food and processed foods.
  • Read labels. Get to know what is in the products you use.
  • Look for lotions, soaps, and other products that are made naturally — and are fragrance-free.
  • Consider making your own home cleaning products. You’d be amazed what a little baking soda or vinegar can do.

Common food additives and chemicals harmful to children

https://supernaturalcollections.com/blogs/blog/15710024-6-hazardous-chemicals-found-in-branded-childrens-clothes

http://ingienous.com/sectors/the-environment/pollution-solutions/steps-we-can-take-to-protect-ourselves-from-chemical-toxicity/

http://www.greenpeace.org/international/big-fashion-stitch-up/  http://fashionrevolution.org   http://ethicalfashionforum.com

NPEs (nonylphenol ethoxylates)

http://www.silverneedleandthread.com/Chemicals-in-Clothes.html

Main picture courtesy: Pixabay

Health Tips!


To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art. – La Rochefoucauld


This article is published on Lorain County website and is produced in its original form

Healthy Eating

  1. Select meat and poultry cuts that are leaner or trim the fat off before eating.
  2. Restaurants often serve extra large portions. Consider sharing a meal with someone.
  3. Eat more fruit and vegetables.
  4. Eat off smaller plates or take smaller portions.
  5. When eating out, an appetizer or side dishes make good alternatives to large portions.
  6. Choose vegetables as a side dish instead of fried potatoes.
  7. Choose whole grains for breads or cereal for a healthy diet.
  8.  Keep a bowl of fruit on your desk at work.
  9. Eat yogurt instead of ice cream.
  10. Eat sweet potatoes as an alternative to regular baked potatoes or fries.
  11. Use salsa on your baked potato instead of sour cream.
  12. Eat the skin on your baked potato. Don’t eat the skin on your chicken.
  13. Have an apple or glass of water before dinner.
  14. A serving of vegetables = 1 cup raw, leafy or 1/2 cup of raw chopped vegetables.
  15. A serving size of fruit = 1 medium piece, 1/2 cup mixed of fruit, or 3/4 cup fruit juice.
  16.  A serving size: 2-3 ounces cooked lean meat, poultry or fish (size of a deck of cards).
  17. Serving size = 1 slice bread, 1/2 bagel or English muffin, or 1 ounce ready-to-eat cereal.
  18. Cut down on saturated fat in creamy dressings by mixing in nonfat or low-fat plain yogurt.
  19.  Wait 20 minutes before getting another plate of food from a buffet. You may not be hungry.
  20. Wash your hands with soap and water before preparing food and after handling raw meats.
  21. Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables in running tap water to remove visible dirt and grime.
  22. Washing your hands regularly is a great way to prevent cold, flu and other diseases.
  23. Kick your slim-down efforts into high gear… start each meal with a glass of water.
  24.  One pound of body fat equals 3500 calories. Increase activity & decrease calories to lose!
  25. More fiber can starve off cravings, keep your belly fuller and your waistline smaller!
  26. An 8-ounce container of yogurt has about 11 grams of protein.
  27. Sometimes when you feel hungry, your body is just thirsty! Try a glass of water first!
  28. Eating together as a family 5 times a week can decrease your child’s chance of obesity.
  29. When out to eat, ask for a box with your food so you can put half in before you eat.
  30. Eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables every day, the more color the better!
  31.  As a source of vitamin B-6, bananas aid your immune system and help form red blood cells.
  32. American Heart Association recommends that everyone eat fish twice weekly.
  33.  Eating 25 grams or about 1 ounce of soy protein a day can help decrease cholesterol.
  34.  Berries contain over 4,000 different compounds that have antioxidant properties.
  35. One red bell pepper has 300% of the recommended daily value for Vitamin C.
  36.  Dark green leafy vegetables, lima beans and black beans are a good source of Folic acid.
  37.  A heart-healthy diet includes plenty of fish, fruits, vegetables, beans and olive oil.
  38. Pregnant women should eat at least four servings of dairy products and calcium-rich foods.
  39. Use smaller plates to control portions and eat less.
  40. Support your community and buy local fruit and vegetables from a farm market.
  41. Turn off the TV during meals and tune into hunger cues to prevent overeating.
  42. To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art. – La Rochefoucauld
  43. He that takes medicine and neglects diet wastes the skill of the physician-Chinese Proverb
  44. The tools that allow for optimum health are diet and exercise. -Bill Toomey
  45. “Your stomach shouldn’t be a waste basket.” -Anonymous

Resource:

https://www.livehealthyloraincounty.com/healthtips

15 WAYS TO STOP MICROFIBER POLLUTION

Know your Clothes. It matters.


Think about all your clothing made of acrylic, nylon, and polyester. Yes, that means fleece, trousers, blouses, socks, and even your beloved yoga pants. Did you know? Every time you wash these synthetic fabrics, millions of microfibers are released into the water. Microfibers are too small to be filtered out by waste treatment plants, so they end up in our waterways and oceans, where they wreak havoc on marine animals and the environment.

Plastic fibers are now showing up in fish and shellfish sold in in California and Indonesia for human consumption. And one paper showed that microfibers are responsible for 85 percent of shoreline pollution across the globe. How can we stop this pollution?

15. Watch The Story of Stuff’s microfiber movie to learn about the issue.

14. Wash synthetic clothes less frequently and for a shorter duration.

13. Fill up your washing machine. Washing a full load results in less friction between the clothes and fewer fibers released.

12. Consider switching to a liquid laundry soap. Laundry powder “scrubs” and loosens more microfibers.

11. Use a colder wash setting. Higher temperature can damage clothes and release more fibers.

10. Dry spin clothes at low revs. Higher revolutions increase the friction between the clothes.

9. When you clean out your dryer, place lint in the trash instead of washing it down the drain.

8. Consider purchasing a Guppy Friend wash bag. In tests, the bag captured 99 percent of fibers released in the washing process. The bags will soon be available for purchase at Patagonia for $20-30.

7. Purchase a washing machine lint filter. These filters require more of an investment, but they will benefit your septic system and the environment. Check out this one or this one.

6. Speak up and tell clothing designers to choose natural fabrics that aren’t prone to shedding. Sign the petition here!

5. Join Plastic Pollution Coalition to read the latest news and help us get the word out.

4. Tell your friends and family about microfiber pollution.

3. Avoid purchasing cheaply-made, “fast fashion” clothes, whenever possible. 

2. Buy clothes made from natural fibers such as cotton, linen, and wool. Natural fibers will eventually break down in the environment. Plastic fibers will never go away. 

1. Share this article to spread the #StopTheMicrofiber message. We all can do something to help.

PS: Read our article on microfiber pollution here- Invisible Plastic

References: 

Above article originally published on plasticpollutioncoalition website on March 02, 2017. We are sharing with our readers for awareness.

https://www.plasticpollutioncoalition.org/blog/2017/3/2/15-ways-to-stop-microfiber-pollution-now

Picture courtesy: https://our.actionstation.org.nz/petitions/stop-microfiber-pollution

PLASTIC IS PILING UP

50% of plastic is used once then thrown away


This article was originally published by Yale Environment 360 (Katz, Cheryl, “Piling Up: How China’s Ban in Importing Waste has Stalled Global Recycling”, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, March 7, 2019).  We are reprinting here for our readers

it has been more than a year since China jammed the works of recycling programs around the world by essentially shutting down what had been the industry’s biggest market. China’s “National Sword” policy, enacted in January 2018, banned the import of most plastics and other materials headed for that nation’s recycling processors, which had handled nearly half of the world’s recyclable waste for the past quarter century. The move was an effort to halt a deluge of soiled and contaminated materials that was overwhelming Chinese processing facilities and leaving the country with yet another environmental problem — and this one not of its own making.

In the year since, China’s plastics imports have plummeted by 99 percent, leading to a major global shift in where and how materials tossed in the recycling bin are being processed. While the glut of plastics is the main concern, China’s imports of mixed paper have also dropped by a third. Recycled aluminum and glass are less affected by the ban.

Globally more plastics are now ending up in landfills, incinerators, or likely littering the environment as rising costs to haul away recyclable materials increasingly render the practice unprofitable. In England, more than half-a-million more tons of plastics and other household garbage were burned last year. Australia’s recycling industry is facing a crisis as the country struggles to handle the 1.3 million-ton stockpile of recyclable waste it had previously shipped to China.

Across the United States, local governments and recycling processors are scrambling to find new markets. Communities from Douglas County, Oregon to Hancock, Maine, have curtailed collections or halted their recycling programs entirely, which means that many residents are simply tossing plastic and paper into the trash.

Some communities, like Minneapolis, stopped accepting black plastics and rigid #6 plastics like disposable cups. Others, like Philadelphia, are now burning the bulk of their recyclables at a waste-to-energy plant, raising concerns about air pollution. Even before China’s ban, only 9 percent of discarded plastics were being recycled, while 12 percent were burned. The rest were buried in landfills or simply dumped and left to wash into rivers and oceans.

Without China to process plastic bottles, packaging, and food containers — not to mention industrial and other plastic waste — experts warn it will exacerbate the already massive waste problem posed by our throwaway culture.

The planet’s load of nearly indestructible plastics — more than 8 billion tons have been produced worldwide over the past six decades — continues to grow. “Already, we’ve been seeing evidence in the past year of the accumulation of plastic waste in countries that are dependent on exporting,” says the University of Georgia’s Amy Brooks, a Ph.D. student in engineering and lead author of a recent study on the impacts of China’s import ban. “We’ve seen increased cost to consumers, closure of recycling facilities, and ultimately decreased plastic waste diversion.”

The recycling crisis triggered by China’s ban could have an upside, experts say, if it leads to better solutions for managing the world’s waste, such as expanding processing capacities in North America and Europe, and spurring manufacturers to make their products more easily recyclable. Above all, experts say it should be a wake-up call to the world on the need to sharply cut down on single-use plastics.

Over the coming decade, as many as 111 million tons of plastics will have to find a new place to be processed or otherwise disposed of as a result of China’s ban, according to Brooks and University of Georgia engineering professor Jenna Jambeck. However, the places trying to take up some of the slack in 2018 tended to be lower-income countries, primarily in Southeast Asia, many of which lack the infrastructure to properly handle recyclables. Many of those countries were quickly overwhelmed by the volume and have also now cut back on imports.

Prior to China’s ban, 95 percent of the plastics collected for recycling in the European Union and 70 percent in the U.S. were sold and shipped to Chinese processors. There, they were turned into forms to be repurposed by plastic manufacturers. Favorable rates for shipping in cargo vessels that carried Chinese consumer goods abroad and would otherwise return to China empty, coupled with the country’s low labor costs and high demand for recycled materials, made the practice profitable.

“Everyone was sending their materials to China because their contamination standard was low and their pricing was very competitive,” says Johnny Duong, acting chief operating officer of California Waste Solutions, which handles recycling for Oakland and San Jose. Like most municipal recycling programs, those cities contract with Duong’s company to collect and sort recyclable waste at its materials recovery facility, where they are baled and sent to end-market processors. Before the ban, Duong says, his company sold around 70 percent of its recyclables to China. Now, that has fallen to near zero.

China’s action came after many recycling programs had transitioned from requiring consumers to separate paper, plastics, cans, and bottles to today’s more common “single stream,” where it all goes into the same blue bin. As a result, contamination from food and waste has risen, leaving significant amounts unusable. In addition, plastic packaging has become increasingly complex, with colors, additives, and multilayer, mixed compositions making it ever more difficult to recycle. China has now cut off imports of all but the cleanest and highest-grade materials — imposing a 99.5 percent purity standard that most exporters found all-but impossible to meet.

“All recyclable plastics from municipal recycling programs have been pretty much banned,” says Anne Germain, vice president of technical and regulatory affairs for the U.S. trade group National Waste and Recycling Association. “It’s had a tremendous impact. Costs associated with recycling are up, revenue associated with recycling is down. And that’s not turning around in the next few weeks.”

The U.S. and Europe, where many cities have longstanding recycling collection programs, have been especially hard-hit. Decades of reliance on China had stifled development of domestic markets and infrastructure. “There are just not very easy or cost-effective options for dealing with it now,” says Brooks. “So if nothing is done to ensure efficient management of plastic waste, the cost-effective option is to send it to landfills or incineration.”

In the U.S., small town and rural recycling operations have been hit the hardest. While most continue to operate, rising costs and falling incomes are forcing some, like Kingsport, Tennessee to shut down. Others, like Phenix City, Alabama, have stopped accepting all plastics. Places like Deltona, Florida suspended curbside pickup. Residents in municipalities like these now must travel to collection points in sometimes distant locations if they want to recycle. Some are inevitably tossing their recyclables in the trash instead.

Most larger cities — such as New York, San Francisco, and Portland, Oregon — have been able to either find alternative markets or improve and expand their municipal operations to process higher-quality and more marketable materials. But many have had to make changes, including dropping some harder-to-recycle materials from their programs. Sacramento, California, for instance, halted collections of plastics labeled #4 through #7 for several months last year at the city waste operator’s request. Residents were told to discard those items in their household garbage.

“That was a real eye opener for a lot of folks who love to feel good about putting their recycling in their blue bin and then it magically turns into something else,” says Erin Treadwell, community outreach manager for Sacramento Public Works. “We wish it was that easy.” Collection there resumed in November after a public education campaign on how households should clean and sort their recyclables.

In Philadelphia last year, when the city’s waste contractor demanded higher fees for collecting and processing recycled materials, the city sent half its recyclables to a waste-to-energy plant, where they were burned to generate electricity; the rest went to an interim contractor.

Incineration is on the rise in parts of Europe, as well. In England, nearly 11 million tons of waste were burned at waste-to-energy plants last year, up 665,000 tons from the previous fiscal year. The facilities are designed to contain emissions, and the practice has strong proponents for and against among environmentalists and scientists. However, a recent study by the non-profit Zero Waste Europe found that even the most state-of-the-art incinerators can emit dioxins and other harmful pollutants.

European nations that had exported most of their recyclables to China have faced growing piles of low-quality plastic scrap, causing “a congestion of the whole system,” says Chaim Waibel, advisor for the industry association Plastics Recyclers Europe. The displaced European plastic was mostly diverted to Indonesia, Turkey, India, Malaysia, and Vietnam, Waibel says.

A variety of new policies aimed at reducing plastic waste are also in the works. The European Parliament recently approved a ban on single-use plastics, including plastic cutlery, straws, and drink-stirrers. Several North American cities, including Seattle and Vancouver, and companies like Starbucks and American Airlines have taken similar actions. And many places around the world now restrict plastic shopping bags.

“Reducing the amount of waste we generate in the first place is the most important thing we can do,” says Lance Klug, information officer for California’s Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery. The agency has been working with manufacturers for the past decade to reduce the discarded packaging that makes up about a quarter of what’s in the state’s landfills, he says, adding, “We’re trying to get industry more involved in the end-of-life disposition of their products.”

Britain is planning to tax manufacturers of plastic packaging with less than 30 percent recycled materials. And Norway recently adopted a system in which single-use plastic bottle-makers pay an “environmental levy” that declines as the return rate for their products rises. The bottles must be designed for easy recycling, with no toxic additives, only clear or blue color, and water-soluble labels.

One year on, China’s National Sword policy is proving to be double-edged — both sparking chaos and drawing overdue attention to the way the world deals with its waste.

“The collect-sort-export model, with some domestic manufacturing, worked for us for a long time when markets for recycled materials were good, particularly in China,” says Klug. “But that’s no longer the case and it’s probably never going to be the case again.”