BEIJING — Traces of toxic chemicals harmful to the environment and to human health have been detected in products made by 14 top clothing manufacturers, Greenpeace said Tuesday.
Samples of clothing from top brands including Adidas, Uniqlo, Calvin Klein, H&M, Abercrombie & Fitch, Lacoste, Converse and Ralph Lauren were found to be tainted with the chemicals, known as nonylphenol ethoxylates, the watchdog said at the launch of its report “Dirty Laundry 2”.
Greenpeace campaigner Li Yifang said that nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs), commonly used as detergents in industries including the production of natural and synthetic textiles, were detected in two-thirds of the samples the group tested.
“NPEs break down to form nonylphenol, which has toxic, persistent and hormone-disrupting properties,” Li told journalists in Beijing.
“It mimics female hormones, alters sexual development and affects reproductive systems.”
Components of NPEs have been implicated in the widespread “feminisation” of male fish in parts of Europe and also in disrupting hormone processes in some mammals, according to the campaign group WWF.