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BEWARE TOXIC T-SHIRTS

For many Americans, getting up in the morning and throwing on a t-shirt and jeans is a way of life. This seemingly normal act may not be completely harmless!

Your t-shirt could be the source of your health problems; more seriously, by products of printed garments are attributed to reproduction problems in wildlife and humans worldwide.

Demand for t-shirts continues to grow, focusing only on the design itself and how quickly and inexpensively it can be distributed.

Moral questions of how and with what t-shirts are printed is secondary; impact on our earth and environment is definitely last. Of the billions of t-shirts printed each year, over 90 percent are printed with plastisol ink. What consumers - as well as many printers - do not realize is that the main ingredient in plastisol is polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

Plastisol is a product that usually comes ready for use. Color range is infinite and provides a durable, opaque, colorfast and flexible design on t-shirts.Plastisol "dries" by being fused onto the garments' surface, after being placed under a heat panel.

PVC resins are the solid content of plastisol ink. Plasticizers are the liquid ingredients that give ink elasticity and flexibility. Phthalates are the most commonly used plasticizers. Fillers are added to effect the finished qualities of ink. Common fillers include dispersion agents, bleaches and peroxides.

Pigments, many of which once contained heavy metals, have been reformulated due to government regulation and are now classified as "inert colorants." These common ingredients are popular because they work well in many different formulations, are readily available, inexpensive and have a high solvency rate.

In recent years, increasing reports of reproductive problems in both wildlife and humans have made news. Alligators and frogs with malformed reproductive organs, feminization of fish in rivers, declining human sperm count, increased cancer and genital abnormalities and a rise of breast cancer in women are a few examples.

Conclusion of studies related to these reports is that man made chemicals, specifically dioxins, interfere with hormonal systems in all species. These chemicals are called "hormone disrupters."

PVC contains these disrupters, including dioxin and phthalates. If you're wearing a t-shirt, the source of these disrupters (in the form of PVC) is six inches under your nose - worn by you and your children daily!

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