The Norwegian Consumer Council has analyzed children’s clothes at major clothing chains and found hormone disrupting chemicals in clothes from H&M, Cubus and Kappahl .
“It is disturbing that every third child garments we checked contains substances with properties that could be harmful . These are substances that should not exist in children’s clothing”, says Consumer Council director Randi Flesland to Dagens Naeringsliv.
The test is done in conjunction with the seminar “How to ensure consumers a non-toxic everyday”, organized by the Consumer Councils of Norway and Denmark with support from the Nordic Council, on 3 June.
The test revealed the harmful substances DBP and DEHP in a t-shirt from Cubus. The substances are prohibited in toys and childcare articles because they can damage the ability to have children and cause damage to the unborn child. They can also affect hormonal imbalances . The fabrics are also listed on the EU candidate list of substances of great concern because they are very harmful .
Randi Flesland calls for a more proactive approach by both the Norwegian authorities and industry players .
“Dangerous substances in everyday products is a growing problem. It is completely unacceptable that consumers should bear this risk on behalf of the industry”, says Randi Flesland to Dagens Naeringsliv.
The survey also found nonylfenoletoxilat, NPEO, in a variety of garments – as one pair of jeans from H&M, boxer shorts from Kappahl, and in a pair of jeans and a sweater from Cubus . NPEO is still permitted in imported clothes.
The Consumer Council has long called for an action plan for a non-toxic life patterned after Sweden and Denmark.
“I would like to quote the Swedish environment minister when she states that endocrine disrupters are high on the political agenda in Sweden as climate because it’s both about mankind’s future”, says Randi Flesland.
The Scandinavian fashion chains replies to Dagens Naeringsliv that they will go through the test result. But the substances are under the allowed level and are probably not put there by purpose.
”Consumer Council test shows that we have a system that works when it comes to our chemical restrictions”, says Kristin Fjeld, press officer at H&M Norway to Dagens Naeringsliv.