We’re not talking about laundry detergents, bleach or color-preserving additives. Nor Ocean Breeze, Clean Linen or French Lavender scents or what some people consider to be irresistible Unstoppables fragrances.
We’re also not saying they aren’t damaging to the environment because they are. Unlike old-fashioned soap, most laundry products are made from chemicals. They may smell great and clean better, but they are toxic to the environment and aquatic life.
But the most recent wave of awareness when it comes to laundry is about the negative environmental impact of clothes themselves.
That fabulous, high stretch workout gear that helps keep you toned? Toxic.
That super soft, cozy, fleece hoodie you practically live in come fall? Toxic.
Jeans. Dresses. Jackets. Sweaters. Pants. Socks. Leggings. Many of them contain microfibers, tiny bits of plastic that shed from nylon and polyester. After they shed, they wind up in wastewater which often winds up in waterways where the microfibers are eaten by fish and other seafood and, eventually, by us.
One study said as many as “700,000 microfibers could be released in a single load of laundry.” Another study compared the microfiber release of top-loading and front-loading machines with the former releasing many more into the environment because of greater agitation. The International Union for Conservation of Nature estimates that “35 percent of microplastics that enter the world’s oceans comes from synthetic textiles.”
There’s a post on my page that’s titled, “What’s in Your Shrimp Scampi?” And the answer is…quite possibly fibers from your workout gear.
You can read all about it here: https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/science/fight-against-plastic-pollution-targets-hidden-source-our-clothes-ncna1000961.
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Steven J. Schleider, MAI, LEED-AP BD+C
President, Metropolitan Valuation Services