UPDATE: New testing showed high levels of BPA in baby's, kids and adult socks.
This article from the Center for Environmental Health found large clothing brands had up to 19 times the safe limit of these chemicals.
A 2019 European study found a shocking 9 out of 10 baby socks (aged 0-4 years) contain traces of Bisphenol A (also known as BPA) and Parabens – chemicals linked to dysfunctions that can trigger illnesses in children and adults.
In 2015, a study from China found BPA in 82% of textiles samples and 97% of infant socks sampled contained the highest concentration of BPA (the socks sampled were all purchased in the USA).
Bisphenols and parabens are endocrine disruptors associated with certain dysfunctions that can lead to illnesses in both children and adults. The spectrum of illnesses associated with exposure is widespread, including but not limited to obesity, asthma, behavioural problems and early puberty. Among adults, they are linked to hypothyroidism, infertility, diabetes, and hormone-dependent cancers, such as breast cancer. The additional worry for babies, besides the fact that babies are more vulnerable to the exposure is how chemicals can easily be ingested as babies (including mine) are often found chewing away at their socks!
Can BPA be washed off?
No. Researchers found BPA rates were not reduced after laundering clothes. In fact, clothing containing BPA contaminates other clothes in the wash – resulting in higher average BPA levels in used clothes than in new clothes.
This statistic confirms the sad reality of the world we live in and how it has never been more important to stay informed so we can make the right choices for our little ones. At Q for Quinn, we don’t claim to have all the answers, but as far as textile sourcing and manufacturing is concerned, we have done a lot of research to source the safest options for little feet.
So how do you know if you are making the right choice in apparel for your little one?
It’s simple. Look for organic baby, and kids clothes, paying close attention to certifications such as GOTS organic cotton and/or Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX®. Facilities certified by these standards have to prove the absence of chemicals throughout the entire production process, giving you the assurance you need to clothe your little one.
When I first started the sourcing for Q for Quinn, it shocked me how hard it was to find good organic socks. I wanted socks I knew would be safe and gentle for my son (who also suffered from eczema) and also very importantly was gentle on our planet. I knew, there were a lot of chemicals in baby clothing and socks but I could never have imagined that 90% of socks in the market would be considered “unsafe.”
Q for Quinn socks, are made from GOTS certified yarn in facilities that are GOTS and Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX® certified. BPA is one of the prohibited items in the GOTS certification and OEKO-TEX® certification tests for over 100 harmful substances.