Greenpeace Links Gap to Toxic Chemicals


B. McPherson


Gap brand clothing has been linked to the use of toxic chemicals in the manufacture of its clothing lines. This also includes their other lines Banana Republic and Old Navy. An Indonesian supplier PT Gistex has been found to be dumping toxic chemicals directly into the local drinking water supply.

Despite being outed for its association with polluting manufacturers in China and Mexico, Gap Inc. has not signed on to the Detox campaign that Greenpeace has spearheaded. Clothing lines that have joined the Detox campaign are Zara, Uniglo, Levi’s and Mango.

“Investigations into Gap branded clothing also revealed that 78% of the items tested contained traces of nonylphenol ethoxylate – a hazardous chemical that breaks down to form an even more toxic and hormone-disrupting substance when released into rivers, lakes and seas.” Greenpeace

The toxic substance nonylphenol ethoxylate (NPE), found in much of the Gap Inc. clothes is extremely toxic to aquatic life. It is classified as a hormone disruptor, mimicking the female hormone estrogen. It has been found in human milk, blood and urine. 

NPEs have had a wide area of uses from cleaners to cosmetics. Because of its effects on wildlife and for the dangers it poses to humans, its use has been banned in the European Union. Canada has brought in new regulations regarding its use and the EPA in the US is ramping up its regs.

I no longer have young children to clothe, but I would be very reluctant to put them into garments that contained chemicals that could mess with their hormones.

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