You are currently browsing the daily archive for December 15, 2010.

Even though I (fingers crossed and knock wood) have not been itchy with a rash in well over a year and a half, I still remember how horribly frustrating and itchy I was and how absolutely miserable. I still scan news articles on skin condition related news and to that end, came across this gem. Evidently, “wrinkle free” clothes are wrinkle free because they contain formaldehyde. Formaldehyde, you know the chemical that they embalm bodies with and use on our biology classes’ preserved frogs.

According to an article in the New York Times, formaldehyde is commonly used in our wrinkle free clothing and other household products. The article states that “the biggest potential issue for those wearing wrinkle-resistant clothing can be a skin condition called contact dermatitis. It affects a small group of people and can cause itchy skin, rashes and blisters.” Seems to me, as one of those “small group of people” that have experienced a skin condition with rashes and itchy that this is a pretty major thing to warn people about. If you have never experienced it, then trust me, you have no clue. Not having an idea of what is causing you to break out is one of the, if not the, most frustrating things. My husband can attest to the many, frequent crying outbreaks where I would literally break down because I had practically eliminated everything that I could think of from my skin and my life – I’m talking changing deodorant, shampoo, toothpaste, losing the makeup, moisturizer and hair creams – and still would have a rash that would keep me up at night and not go away. Who would even think that someone put formaldehyde in my clothing? Seriously folks, this has got to stop. We are literally killing ourselves between pesticides and god knows what else in our commercially grown and processed food, the chemicals in our everyday products and now….formaldehyde in our pants. Good for the pants, bad for the person.

According to the article, the United States does not regulate formaldehyde levels in our clothing and since most of our clothing isn’t even made in this country anyway, good luck even if they did. There is no government requirement, here or elsewhere to list the chemicals in our clothing so you can be aware of what you are putting literally next to your skin.

Formaldehyde evidently keeps the fabrics fibers in place after washing. I know that we are all busy these days — and wrinkle free or wrinkle resistant is quite tempting, but honestly at what cost?

Years ago, we would go on an annual skiing trip to Sugarbush with dear friends. The guys would drink this beer, which was incredibly cheap – a plus for a bunch of college folks and recent college grads – but they noticed that they would get incredibly buzzed off of just a couple beers. My friend’s dad took a bottle home and did some lab testing on it –and can you guess? Formaldehyde. So, formaldehyde evidently has several good uses – preserving dead bodies, eliminating wrinkles and getting you drunk faster.  What’s not to love?


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