It is a misguided belief that when buying 'made from cotton' products you are buying something made of natural fibres. More chemical pesticides and herbicides are put on cotton than any other crop on the planet. What's more 25% of global pesticides used, are sprayed on non-organic cotton crops.
Scientists have found that the residues of these chemicals on finished products can put our health at risk as they continue to be released from the garment as it rubs on our skin throughout the products lifetime. The clothes we wear, the sheets we sleep on, the toys we give our babies to chew and suck, could all have potentially harmful effects.
Consider also the people harvesting cotton crops and making the garments. Before the cotton is cleaned, spun and woven into cloth it is sprayed with toxic defoliants to make the leaves fall off. Heavy metals like chromium and copper are used to dye fabrics and chlorine bleach to whiten them. Formaldehyde is used in almost all polycotton to stiffen cloth and prevent wrinkling. All these chemicals can cause serious health problems, so serious that there have been reports of Indian cotton farmers dieing from many years of daily exposure.
We have more of an incentive than ever to say no to pesticides in our products and thankfully we can do this by choosing to buy organically grown cotton products instead. For more info visit the Pesticide Action Network