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The Toxic Chemicals in Our Clothing

Tuesday, November 8th 2022 10:00am 3 min read
Dr. Jessica Peatross dr.jess.md @drjessmd

Hospitalist & top functional MD who gets to the root cause. Stealth infection & environmental toxicity keynote speaker.

Since you are reading this article, we know that you care about your body and what goes into it. You care about toxins and unhealthy foods. You care about the water you drink and the air you breathe. You care about pesticides and herbicides in your food.

But, what about the chemicals you wear every day? Wear?

Yes, clothing and fabric manufacturers use many toxic chemicals in the production process. And those clothes are touching your skin all day. Your skin is your body’s largest organ, and it is permeable to an extent. If your skin is touching toxic fabric all day, should you be concerned? Yes, but with some prudent caution, you can minimize the risks.

Let’s take a deeper dive into chemicals used in clothing manufacturing.


Clothing that is stain or water-resistant is due to the use of chemicals called PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) or PFCS (Perfluorocarbon). These compounds are resistant to breaking down and are called “forever chemicals.” Long-term exposure to these chemicals can result in many health issues. They have been linked to some cancers and infertility. While wearing clothing treated with PFAS or PFCS will typically mean a low level of exposure, be aware of them and avoid them if possible.

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