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The Shocking Environmental and Human Health Impacts of Fabric and Leather Industries

Story at-a-glance -

  • Each year, an estimated 80 billion garments are sold worldwide, and each year, Americans alone throw away 15 million tons of clothing — most of it having been worn just a few times
  • The “disposable clothing” trend completely disregards the toxic toll each garment takes on environmental and human health throughout the manufacturing and distribution processes involved in its creation
  • Leather tanning is a chemical-heavy process typically relegated to impoverished developing nations that lack toxic waste management regulations
  • The Buriganga River in Bangladesh has turned black from the toxins released from the Dhaka tannery district, as has the local river in Xintang, China, thanks to the denim industry, which dumps untreated dye water into it
  • In Pakistan, the fourth-largest cotton producer in the world, the cotton industry has polluted much of the groundwater, rendering it unsafe to drink

By Dr. Mercola

Inexpensive clothing has become a serious pollution problem in more ways than one. Each year, an estimated 80 billion garments are sold worldwide, and each year, Americans alone throw away 15 million tons of clothing — most of it having been worn just a few times. This is a trend that completely disregards the toxic toll each garment takes on environmental and human health throughout the manufacturing and distribution processes involved in its creation.


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