Eczema and Baby Clothes

There is a great deal of anecdotal evidence that the chemicals used in the manufacture of babies clothing can cause eczema. The prime suspect in this is formaldehyde, a chemical traditionally used as an embalming agent, fixative or disinfectant. The reason manufacturers often use formaldehyde in clothing is to give fabrics a crisp feel and to prevent wrinkles.

It has long been known that contact with formaldehyde can be harmful. Depending on the concentration and time period of exposure reported symptoms can include eczema and lesions due to allergic reaction. These sorts of reactions have been reported by adults after wearing treated clothes. It is also a known carcinogen and may contribute to multiple chemical sensitivity.

Bearing in mind that a baby’s skin is thinner and more delicate than that of an adult, it seems like common sense to try and avoid contact with fabrics treated with formaldehyde.

A great way to do this is by purchasing clothes made with certified organic cotton. This guarantees that the fabric will not have been treated with any harsh chemicals, nor will harmful pesticides or herbicides have been used on the cotton plants. The international body that gives this accreditation is GOTS.

Buying organic gives you peace of mind, especially when high street and supermarket clothing brands do not make it obvious how their fabrics have been produced and treated. There can be no argument that certified organic cotton garments are free of formaldehyde and other harmful substances.

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Formaldehyde

http://sarahockwell-smith.com/2013/04/11/is-it-time-for-a-new-approach-to-paediatric-eczema/

https://oecotextiles.wordpress.com/2011/01/04/formaldehyde-in-your-fabrics/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiple_chemical_sensitivity

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