How do chemicals react to textiles

Dangerous pollutants in textiles: Why you should wash clothes before you wear them for the first time

  1. 24vita
  2. Allergies & intolerances
  3. Allergies
  4. Contact allergy

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From: Laura Knops

Before new clothes are worn for the first time, they should definitely be washed (symbol picture). © imago images / Cavan Images

New clothing often contains harmful substances and chemicals that, in the worst case, can trigger diseases and allergies. New items of clothing should therefore be washed before wearing.

Munich - you do dress Easy-iron and crease-resistant, give color and should textiles make more durable: In Garments stuck numerous Chemicals, Plasticizers and dyes. To make textiles more beautiful and, above all, more functional, manufacturers in Germany alone use around 75,000 tons chemical auxiliaries and about 9,000 tons colour a. If this chemical cocktail gets on the skin, it can Skin irritation and Allergies to lead. Anyone who wants to avoid contact with the substances of concern should therefore find new ones clothes Wash before wearing for the first time.

Harmful substances in textiles: That is why you have to wash clothes before you wear them for the first time

Numerous succeed in production Chemicals into clothes. While Fabrics such as cotton, synthetic or linen rather seldom allergic reaction or cause skin irritation, a large number of chemical substances can be detected in other items of clothing. Sweat and body heat dissolve the chemical substances from the dress out - this allows the harmful substances to penetrate the skin even faster. The consequences are skin irritation, eczema and redness up to and including an allergic shock. Spread the chemical substances via the air you breathe, they can lead to breathing difficulties and headaches. In addition, some of the substances used are considered to be carcinogenic.

More than 7,000 chemicals are used in the textile industry - and mostly without legal limit values. But chemically treated clothing avoiding it is not easy. Because so far there are none Labeling requirement for chemicals or the origin of the substances. So it should be new dress be washed before wearing for the first time. (Pollen, mites, fragrances: allergy sufferers should pay attention to this when washing their clothes)

Pollutants in textiles: Dyes can lead to allergies

Dyes let the clothes shine in every imaginable color. But not everyone can tolerate the artificial color on their skin. So belong Dyes one of the most common textile-related triggers Contact allergies. 4000 common colors alone are in the Dye index of the textile industry listed. Around 49 of the most famous 800 textile colors are among the possible Allergens.

Often they are stuck Allergy trigger in the so-called Emulsion paint. These Dyes are composed of a binder and a solvent and can be used for Skin contact quickly detach from clothing. Although the German industry has been around half of the Dyes waived, only a few foreign companies adhere to the guidelines. As most textiles are imported, items of clothing are always brought along allergenic dyes in the shops. (Healthy skin despite a mask: this is how skin irritation can be prevented)

Pollutants in textiles: Allergenic substances in clothing

Substances used in the manufacture of dress can be used in addition to dyes other substances of concern contain. For example, producers often treat cotton as well Pesticides or produce synthetic fibers based on petroleum. During the manufacturing process, numerous allergenic substances get into the Clothes. Among the most famous Allergy triggers belong:

  • Formaldehyde: Formaldehyde resins are said to prevent clothing from creasing. However, the substance is not only considered a hazardous substance with carcinogenic properties, but also as a Contact allergen classified. Since it is one of the 20 most common contact allergens, textiles with more than 0.15 percent unbound formaldehyde must bear the following note in Germany: “Contains formaldehyde. It is recommended to wash the garment for better skin tolerance before wearing it for the first time. "
  • Organotin and silver ions: These substances protect clothing from microbes.
  • Chrome and nickel: The allergens are among the most common Contact allergens. Chromium is widely used in the manufacture of leather shoes. Although chromium has been banned in articles in the EU since 2010, the substance can still be found in many foreign products. Nickel is mainly found in costume jewelry, zippers, belt buckles and buttons - however, if it comes into contact with the skin, nickel can lead to an allergic reaction.
  • Laundry detergent: In the course of the production process, textiles go through several washes. Here you can Detergent residues remaining in clothing.

Pollutants in textiles: How can you protect yourself against allergens?

There Dyes and other Chemicals in textiles so far do not have to be labeled, it is not easy as a consumer chemically treated clothing to renounce. An example shows how difficult it is for consumers: This is the advice Federal Institute for Risk Assessment(BfR) already since 2001 from the use of certain Disperse dyes due to their allergenic properties. Nonetheless, an investigation by the Bavarian State Office for Health and Food Safety ten years later found almost all of the dyes to be black Garments prove. (Leggins Syndrome: Black leggings, tights and socks can cause textile dermatitis)

According to the Allergy information serviceof Helmholtz Center Munich However, there are a few things that consumers can do themselves to reduce the health risks posed by allergens in clothing:

  • Anyone sensitive to a particular clothing responds, this should be better sort out.
  • If you want to be sure what residues are in the textiles can lurk, can find out more directly from the manufacturer. Since 2007 the EU regulation to the Protection from chemical hazards stipulates that producers are obliged to provide customers with certain information on request.
  • black and blue clothes leads to allergic reactions more often than light-colored clothing. Because contain dark fabrics more dyes.
  • Formaldehyde resins hazardous to health are often contained in "crease-resistant", "easy-care" and "non-iron" clothing.
  • The hint "wash separately" indicates a high content of colorants. Garments without color are usually the best protection against allergic reactions to dyes.
  • Tight clothes can in some cases emit more pollutants than loose-fitting garments due to the friction.
  • Since the skin of children and babies is particularly sensitive and reacts quickly to chemicals, the Children's clothing be washed at least twice.

This article contains only general information on the respective health topic and is therefore not intended for self-diagnosis, treatment or medication. Under no circumstances does it replace a visit to the doctor. Unfortunately, our editors are not allowed to answer individual questions about clinical pictures.