SF Chronicle: Your socks are made with plastic and could be loaded with dangerous BPA
On December 7, The San Francisco Chronicle published our op-ed ‘Your socks are made with plastic and could be loaded with dangerous BPA‘ by Michael Green, CEO of CEH.
When we think about fossil fuels and climate change, we don’t think about the clothing we wear. But the reality is more than 60% of our clothes are made with synthetic textiles derived from oil — textiles like acrylic, nylon and polyester. Producing these synthetic fibers has a profound impact on our climate. It is a source of global warming.
Big Oil fears that demand for fossil fuels is flattening as the economy moves toward electric vehicles and renewable energy sources. Its plan is to replace some of the profits historically made from selling oil and gas for fuel, with profits made by selling oil and gas as feedstock for increasing amounts of plastics, fertilizers and other petrochemical-based products. As a result, plastics, and their health impacts, are increasingly ubiquitous. Like fish in water, we are surrounded by petrochemicals we cannot see.
Through months of testing, we at the Center for Environmental Health have learned that even small clothing items like socks made for babies, children and adults can be loaded with BPA — up to 31 times the safe limit under California environmental law. Studies have shown that BPA can be absorbed through your skin. Socks are worn for hours at a time, so it is concerning to find such high levels of BPA, particularly in those made for babies and children.