It is not easy to comprehend that we have to watch out for what we wear while we are sweating it out to stay healthy. Cause to worry for many of us trying to lead an active lifestyle! The harsh truth of what is contained in the clothing we wear on a day to day basis is mostly hidden. It is true that not only what we eat and do, but also what we wear affects out body negatively. The sports or active wear that we sweat in could harm our skin and body! The harmful toxins that are held within the fabric are the culprits. Especially when sweat, heat and body friction interacts with the fabric. There is increasing concern among public health advocates following the link between sportswear and health issues.
Skin allergies are known to most and there are numerous people who suffer from skin related problems. However, new studies have found that certain toxins that hide in fabrics could result in cancer and other disabilities (Stockholm University, 2015). While these may not manifest in the short term, this is clearly a possibility in the long term, especially endocrine-disrupting chemicals. The main reason being sweat and body contact causing the skin to absorb toxins faster. There is also increasing concern that chemicals used in fabric such as dyes, solvents and PFC’s are still not regulated.
We make sure we eat well, are active and lead a healthy lifestyle. Similarly, it is also our duty to make sure that what we wear does not harm our skin in any way. This is possible only by us being actively aware of what is lying next to our skin. Therefore, choosing to wear natural fabrics is a no brainer really. Most of us know that synthetic fabrics do not breathe and becomes an absolute nightmare on a sweaty day by breeding bacteria and trapping odour in.
In a study, researchers from Ghent University grew smelly bacteria and coated them on various fabric such as cotton, wool, nylon, polyester, acrylic, fleece, viscose and so on (Callewaert, et al., 2014). They found that while cotton produced very few germs, other fabric such as polyester had odour producing bacteria swarming over them. They report that synthetic nylon is even more scarier as it can cause acne and foot odour being an active ground for growing Propionibacterium acnes (bacteria causing acne). Of recent, manufacturers claim using antimicrobials, for example, nanosilver which reduces bad germs. Callewaert and colleagues' (2014) investigation also suggest that antimicrobials while keeping the bad germs at bay also keeps good germs away which is also a concern.
It is great to see a following for eco-friendly products, it is important that more people be aware of the fabric that lie next to skin and choose wisely. If you are reading this blog, we would love you to spread awareness and hopefully help many more people understand the importance of health friendly products.
Stockholm University. 2015, “Toxins remain in your clothes”. ScienceDaily. URL: www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/10/151023084508.htm
Callewaert, C., De Maeseneire, E., Kerckhof, F.M., Verliefde, A., Van de Wiele, T. & Boon, N. 2014, "Microbial Odor Profile of Polyester and Cotton Clothes after a Fitness Session", Appl. Environ. Microbiol., AEM.01422-14, vol. 80, no. 21, pp. 6611-6619.