Yet more reasons to reduce your plastic use …. quoted highlights from an extremely interesting article from the never dull O Ecotextiles PLEASE NOTE the quotes are the points that struck me, I strongly reccomend you read the whole article to place the quotes in context and access the citations.
“65% of the world’s production of fibers are synthetic, and 35% are natural fibers. (1) Fully 70% of those synthetic fibers are polyester.
There are many different types of polyester, but the type most often produced for use in textiles is polyethylene terephthalate, abbreviated PET. Used in a fabric, it’s most often referred to as “polyester” or “poly”. It is very cheap to produce, which is the primary driver for its use in the textile industry.
Annual PET production requires 104 million barrels of oil – that’s 70 million barrels just to produce the virgin polyester used in fabrics.
Antimony is used as a catalyst to create PET.
Antimony is present in 80 – 85% of all virgin PET. Antimony is a carcinogen, and toxic to the heart, lungs, liver and skin.
Antimony used in the production of PET fibers becomes chemically bound to the PET polymer so although your PET fabric contains antimony, it isn’t available to your living system. (3)
Antimony is leached from the fibers during the high temperature dyeing process. The antimony that leaches from the fibers is expelled with the wastewater…. Countries that can afford technologies that precipitate the metals out of the solution are left with a hazardous sludge …..Countries who cannot or who are unwilling to employ these end-of-pipe treatments release antimony along with a host of other dangerous substances to open waters.”