October 7, 2010

Are Your Clothes Contributing to Environmental Disasters?


Many people begin their efforts to live healthier more natural lives by switching to organically-grown foods. Even more important for our planet's health is switching to clothes made from organic cotton. Jake Richardson of Care2 writes:

The Environmental Justice Foundation lists several of the pesticides used in cotton growing: Aldicarb, Endosulfan, Monocrotophos, and Deltamethrin. These chemical products can cause harm to humans. Aldicarb is listed by the World Health Organziation as "extremely hazardous," The Institute of Science in Society says that one drop can be fatal to an adult male. Endosulfan was reported to have caused 24 confirmed deaths of cotton workers in the African nation of Benin in 1999. An estimated 70 other deaths were reported from the same Endosulfan exposure. (Source: Institute of Science in Society)

The US Geological Survey stated in a paper explaining why they are investigating cotton production, "Cotton receives as much as 7 kilograms per hectare of herbicide and 5 kilograms per hectare of insecticide (Gianessi and Puffer, 1990)." As an indication of how these amounts compare to those used on a common food grain, they wrote, "These applications of pesticides are 3 to 5 times greater per hectare than applications of pesticides to corn, yet there have been no regional studies of pesticide fate in the cotton belt."

Depressing statistics when you consider how much cotton is in your closet.   As the video states, one t-shirt takes 2000 liters of water to produce, and that does not include the pesticides and herbicides used in production. 

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Posted by Jennifer Lance at October 7, 2010 1:05 AM

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