Testing conducted by the Norwegian Consumer Council (ForbrukerrÃ¥det) found endocrine-disrupting chemicals in children’s clothes from major Scandinavian clothing chains Hennes & Mauritz (H&M), Cubus and Kappahl. The study found potentially harmful chemicals in every third item of clothing tested.
The testing was done ahead of a seminar on protecting consumers against toxic substances, to be held by the Norwegian and Danish councils on Tuesday with support from the Nordic Council, reported newspaper Dagens NÃ¦ringsliv (DN). The problematic chemicals found included DBP and DEHP. Researchers are concerned the so-called endocrine disruptors may be to blame for rapidly increasing incidences of cancers, fertility issues, damage to fetuses, type 2 Diabetes, obesity and ADHD.
“It is disturbing that every third children’s garment we tested contained substances with properties that could be harmful,” said council director Randi Flesland. “These are substances that should not be found in children’s clothing.”
Both the World Health Organization and UN Environment Program called for stronger regulation of the chemicals last year. The EU has them listed on its candidate register for substances with grounds for great concern, because they can be very harmful to health. Scientists warned the chemicals may have no safe lower limit, and exposure to even very small amounts during vulnerable stages such as during fetal development could result in damage manifesting later in life. The substances are banned in games and products for young children.