OEcotextiles

Indulgent yet responsible fabrics

Fire retardants: the new asbestos

O Ecotextiles (and Two Sisters Ecotextiles)

My toxic couch: I’d like to nominate flame retardant chemicals used in our furniture, fabrics and baby products – as well as a host of other products – as being in the running for the “new asbestos”. These chemicals (halogenated flame retardants, such as polybrominated diphenyl ethers) are commonly known as PBDE’s. An editorial in …

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What’s the “new” asbestos?

O Ecotextiles (and Two Sisters Ecotextiles)

What does asbestos have to do with fabrics? Asbestos has been used in fabrics for centuries – the story goes that Roman soldiers (or, depending on the story, wealthy Persians) would clean asbestos napkins by throwing them into the fire – and they’d emerge clean and white. During the Middle Ages, some merchants would sell …

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Endocrine disruptors – in fabric?

O Ecotextiles (and Two Sisters Ecotextiles)

This post was published about two years ago, but it’s time to re-run it, because Greenpeace has published its expose of the endocrine disruptors (APEOs and NPEOs) they found in garments produced by major fashion brands (like Levis, Zara, Calvin Klein and others). Click here to read their report. Many chemicals used in textile processing …

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Copper in the textile industry

O Ecotextiles (and Two Sisters Ecotextiles)

We did a post on copper over two years ago. Here’s the post if you missed it then, because the information is still valid: Copper is an essential trace element that is vital to life. The human body normally contains copper at a level of about 1.4 to 2.1 mg for each kg of body …

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Bisphenol A – in fabrics?

O Ecotextiles (and Two Sisters Ecotextiles)

If you’ve bought baby bottles or water bottles recently, I’m sure you’ve seen a prominent “BPA Free” sign on the container. BPA stands for Bisphenol A, a chemical often used to make clear, polycarbonate plastics (like water and baby bottles and also eyeglass lenses, medical devices, CDs and DVDs, cell phones and computers). And though …

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APEOs and NPEOs in textiles

O Ecotextiles (and Two Sisters Ecotextiles)

Alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEOs – often called alkyphenols or alkylphenyls) are surfactants which have an emulsifying and dispersing action, so they have good wetting, penetration, emulsification, dispertion, solubilizing and washing characteristics. This makes them suitable for a very large variety of applications: they’ve been used for over 50 years in a wide variety of products. In …

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In an upholstered piece of furniture, the cushions need a filler of some kind.  Before plastics, our grandparents used feathers, horsehair or wool or cotton batting.  But with the advent of plastics, our lives changed.  You will now commonly see polyurethane foam, synthetic or natural latex rubber and the new, highly touted soy based foam. …

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You may have read the series published by the Chicago Tribune which began on May 7, “Playing With Fire”, in which they expose the history of fire retardants which are used in furniture in the United States. The Tribune found that: Chemicals that are used in household furnishings such as sofas and chairs to slow …

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Is biomass carbon neutral?

O Ecotextiles (and Two Sisters Ecotextiles)

Global climate change is the major environmental issue of current times. Evidence for global climate change is accumulating and there is a growing consensus that the most important cause is humankind’s interference in the natural cycle of greenhouse gases. (Greenhouse gases get their name from their ability to trap the sun’s heat in the earth’s …

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Asbestos – and fire retardants.

O Ecotextiles (and Two Sisters Ecotextiles)

A half century ago, asbestos – a ” 100% natural” material by the way –  was hailed as the wonder fiber of the 20th century.   It was principally used for its heat resistant properties and to protect property (and incidentally, human lives) from the ravages of fire. Because of this, asbestos was used in virtually all industrial …

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