Cotton Vs Polyester
Polyester (polyethylene terephthalate) pellets or chips are synthesized from petroleum-based products. Polyester is thermoplastic, meaning it can be melted and reformed.
Cotton is a natural vegetable fibre produced in many countries of the world. It is made from the soft, fluffy substance that is around the seeds of the cotton plant (Gossypium) which is almost pure cellulose.
One issue we never think about when we go shopping for our clothes is how toxic and harmful for our health that piece of fabric could be? Neither do we think of its origin nor its manufacturing and the toxic load on our body and in the environment. Unfortunately only a small part of our clothing is not harmful to wear and produced with natural and eco-friendly fibers, most of them are still manufactured with tons of chemicals becoming highly toxic and increasing the negative effects on our body’s health.
Let's make an easy example, take a glimpse at your clothing labels and you will definitely find out that most of them contain materials such as polyester, acrylic, nylon and acetate described on it. Besides that, with the technological advances in the Textile Industry, we usually shop more and more for fabrics that are meant to make our lives easier, such as the wrinkle-free, stain resistant and insect repellent fabrics, but what we don’t know is that those fabrics are a great source of toxins that unfavorably affect our health and the environment.
Throughout the years and through lots of researches, some health hazards such as cancer, hormonal dysfunction, as well as immunity harm and behavioural problems have been linked with the wearing of toxic fabrics and fibers. The blame worthies in regard to the health conditions are the different types of chemicals used in the dying and bleaching process of chemically treated natural and synthetic fibers as well as its manufacturing.
Some of the worst harmful wear fabrics that should be avoided are the ones that contain Polyester, Rayon, Acrylic and Nylon as well as most of the high tech fabrics, specially the one for our sportswear. Let's examine each one of them closely and thoroughly in order to understand them better.
Fabrics woven or knitted from Polyester thread or yarn such as Terylene, Dacron, Lycra or Vycron are the most prejudicial fabrics for our body. Besides that, technologic fabrics popular for wrinkle-free, wear resistance, drying up properties and water and wind resistance are also produced with Polyester fibers and are not recommended for people with skin sensibility.
A Polyester fiber is made from synthetic polymers that are made from esters of dihydric alcohol and terpthalic acid that means, both of them are highly toxic and these toxins are not completely removed after the manufacturing process, finding an easy entry into our body through moist skin.
Our skin is the largest organ of absorption and elimination. The mechanism by which this works is that when toxins are absorbed by the skin, where they travel from the lymphatic system to the liver, commonly known as the chemical-processing plant of the body where the harmful toxins are vented through the skin. However, the presence of petrochemical fibers, released through clothing suffocates the skin effectively shutting down toxic release. This may be the cause in the onset of disease. In addition, researches confirmed that plenty of healthy conditions and diseases come from the excessive wear of polyester fabrics, generating problems such as skin cancer and other types of cancer, chronic and severe respiratory infections as well as skin problems such as rashes, itching, redness and dermatitis.
Some disorders such as reduced sperm count out and behavioral changes are also associated with the constant wearing of Polyesters clothes. Not only is Polyester very harmful for people but also it is dangerous for the environment since it is hard to be recycled also biodegraded and its production disposes toxins in the water and emits lots of pollutants in the air.
One thing we should keep in mind is that all kind of fibers, natural or synthetic, at some point of their manufacturing process receive many kinds of chemicals such as detergents, petrochemical dyes, bleaching agents, softener agents and among others. Thus, these chemicals still remain after the manufacturing process is over, becoming a toxin to people’s body. Some people who have skin sensibility or just want to reduce their toxic load and prevent themselves from any kind of health problem should constantly look for natural fibers such as cotton, wool, cashmere, hemp, linen, silk or organic fabrics.