Formaldehyde In Your Fabrics: 4 Reasons Textile Dyes & Chemicals Are Bad For You

Imagine you just bought a new set of undies. 
You’re very excited to try them out. A few minutes after putting them on, you start noticing some unpleasant skin irritations. People have experienced redness, rashes, itchy skin, and more just by wearing new clothes. Sad, isn’t it?
The textile industry uses chemicals and dyes in the manufacturing process that could be very harsh on the skin. The most common example is the formaldehyde in your fabrics, which manufacturers use to keep clothes wrinkle-free, but at the expense of what? 
This post discusses some reasons why formaldehyde could be bad for your skin.
Textile Dyes
Formaldehyde and formalin contact allergy
Formaldehyde can extremely irritate the skin, for some people. For people with formaldehyde sensitivity, even contact with small amounts of formaldehyde in clothing can trigger contact dermatitis.
Along with formaldehyde resins, other chemicals such as azo, anthraquinone, and para-phenylenediamine (PPD) which are used in dyes can also trigger rashes, hives, and other allergic reactions upon rubbing off on the skin.
Carcinogenicity of formaldehyde 
Several studies involving workers exposed to high levels of formaldehyde have revealed a relationship between this chemical and some rare cancers such as myeloid leukaemia and cancers of the nasal cavity, among others. 
In 1987, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) designated formaldehyde as a human carcinogen that poses a severe risk when exposed to unusually high conditions or prolonged exposure. Both the US and Canada have since declared the chemical as toxic. 

Physical health risks of formaldehyde

Along with the risk of skin rashes and allergic skin reactions, the CDC says exposure to high levels of formaldehyde can cause shortness of breath and unpleasant changes in lung function. But then,  even small exposures can cause problems in the throat, nose, and airways, for some people. This can cause serious problems, especially for people with asthma and individuals with preexisting breathing and respiratory problems. 

Formaldehyde’s negative impacts on children’s health

The young, as much as the old, are not spared the wrath of formaldehyde and its accompanying problems. In fact, young people are more at risk of formaldehyde. 
Because of their delicate skin, children exposed to formaldehyde can experience contact dermatitis and similar skin irritations. It could also cause or worsen asthma in children as well as a host of other similar conditions. 

Avoiding formaldehyde

While formaldehyde in your fabrics is more common in permanent press fabrics such as the ones used in curtains, drapes, and furniture, they are also in everyday clothing items, from your dresses to your undies. This chemical is used to keep clothing crease-free.
Washing new clothing items might help reduce formaldehyde concentration in clothing. 
But the best way to avoid formaldehyde issues, especially if you are at risk of formalin contact allergy, is to avoid clothing with formaldehyde completely. But how can you do this when clothing manufacturers in the UK are not legally required to disclose the use of anti-wrinkle chemicals like formaldehyde on clothing labels? Go organic!
Organic clothing brands like Julie May cater to a section of consumers who care about their skin health while looking good. Turns out you can achieve both. 

Hypoallergenic Homes recently did an extensive review of the allergy-friendly bras from Julie May. Julie May is an organic clothing brand that makes organic and allergy-friendly lingerie and underwear products for women. 
So, why Julie May?
allergy friendly underwear
With an organic fashion brand that produces allergy-friendly clothing that can be used by people with highly sensitive skin, you’ll no longer have to worry about the dangers of formaldehyde in your fabrics. But Julie May is just different!
“The impressive range of products from Julie May is made from certified organic Pima cotton and 100% pure silk – and backed by a verified laboratory report indicating that the 22 nastiest textile chemicals (including formaldehyde and other harmful bleach and dyes) are not present.”
To avoid stories that touch, you’ll want to patronize brands like this for allergy-friendly clothing, especially when it comes to bras, briefs, and other pieces of clothing that stay on the most delicate skin areas of your body. It’s a risk no one should ever have to take. 


GOTS Certified Organic Pima Cotton as the main fabric. Comfort with Support.

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Accredited by AllergyUK to be friendly for people with allergic reactions to synthetic fibres and sensitive skins.

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Ethically handmade and support UN sustainable projects

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