Poisonous Comfort

conventional cotton - Wayi Bamboo - Stay Comfortable! Manufacturers of fine bamboo clothing, bamboo clothes, bamboo socks, bamboo baby clothing, anti-bacterial, all natural, and organicConventional cotton farming involves use of synthetic chemicals that seriously harm the environment, farm communities and workers. Just take a look at your own T-shirt. As are millions of others around the state and country (and world) you're probably wearing one, and it's proably soft and comfortable to wear. However, it takes about nine ounces of cotton to make one T-shirt, and to make these nine ounces, an average of 17 teaspoons of synthetic fertilizers are used, plus three-fourths of a teaspoon of active ingredients like pesticides, herbicides, insecticides and defoliants.

These pesticides are classified among the most toxic by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Only 40 percent of the cotton plant is comprised of fiber. The rest is seed, which is used to feed dairy and beef cattle, and is an ingredient in cookies, potato chips and prepared foods. Often up to 10 percent of a cow's diet is untreated cottonseed and gin trash (separated from the fiber and seed at the gin), which is often defoliated with organophosphate nerve poisons like DEF, Folex, paraquat and bomb-making materials like sodium chlorate.

In 1995, more than 14 pounds of pesticides were sprayed on every acre of cotton fields in California, according to SCP. Of the pesticides used, five of the top nine are cancer-causing chemicals (cyanazine, dicofol, naled, propargite, and trifluralin), and all the top nine pesticides used are labeled by EPA as Category I or II materials, which are the most toxic classifications. Forty-six percent of all U.S. counties contain groundwater susceptible to contamination from agricultural pesticides and fertilizers, and 68 pesticides have been found in drinking wells in California since 1982. This number becomes more worrisome when, according to a report from 1994 by Environmental Working Group/Physicians for Social Responsibility, 90 percent of municipal water treatment facilities lack equipment to remove carcinogenic herbicides.

Today, almost 1,000 insects and weed species have developed resistance to chemical control. The increased resistance caused by the intensive use of chemicals is threatening to decrease crops and eventually the production of food, according to World Watch Institute.

On the average, seven times as many pounds of toxic fertilizer are regularly used on cotton as are pesticides. Cotton fertilizers have fouled the air and polluted rivers, groundwater basins and aquifers wherever cotton is grown.

Five of the top nine pesticides used on cotton in the U.S. (cyanide, dicofol, naled, propargite, and trifluralin) are KNOWN cancercausing chemicals. All nine are classified by the U.S. EPA as Category I and II, the most dangerous chemicals.

* Cotton fertilizers and pesticides have killed and injured millions of fish, birds, and other wildlife as well as countless thousands of rural residents.

* 75% of the cotton and cottonseed in the US is genetically modified.

* In the US we eat or drink more cotton products than we sleep on, wash with, or wear.

In addition to GMO cotton seed and gin trash, the cows are also fed GMO corn and soybeans. Many are also shot up with genetically modified bovine growth hormones. This makes milk one of the most toxically produced and genetically modified products. Since kids drink the bulk of the milk in the US, kids get the most poison as well the most exposure to genetically modified bacteria, viruses, hormones and antibodies.

Of all insecticides used globally each year, the estimated amount used on traditional cotton: 25%.

In the U.S. today, it takes approximately 8-10 years, and $100 million to develop a new pesticide for use on cotton. It takes approximately 5-6 years for weevils and other pests to develop an immunity to a new pesticide.

600,408 tons of herbicides, insecticides, fertilizers, fungicides, and other chemicals were used to produce cotton in 1992 in the 6 largest cotton producing states. (Agricultural Chemical Usage, 1992 Field Crops Summary, USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service)

Number of pesticides presently on the market that were registered before being tested to determine if they caused cancer, birth defects or wildlife toxicity: 400. (US EPA Pesticide Registration Progress Report, 1/93)

Amount of time it takes to ban a pesticide in the U.S. using present procedures: 10 years. (US EPA Pesticide Registration Progress Report, 1/93)

Number of active ingredients in pesticides found to cause cancer in animals or humans: 107.(After Silent Spring, NRDC, 6/93)

Of those active ingredients, the number still in use today: 83.(After Silent Spring, NRDC, 6/93)

Number of pesticides that are reproductive toxins according to the California E.P.A.: 15. (After Silent Spring, NRDC, 6/93)

Most acutely toxic pesticide registered by the E.P.A.: aldicarb (frequently used on cotton). (After Silent Spring, NRDC, 6/93)

Number of states in which aldicarb has been detected in the groundwater: 16. (After Silent Spring, NRDC, 6/93)

Percentage of all U.S. counties containing groundwater susceptible to contamination from agricultural pesticides and fertilizers: 46%. (After Silent Spring, NRDC, 6/93)

The Sustainable Cotton Project estimates

The average acre of California cotton grown in 1995 received some 300 pounds of synthetic fertilizers or 1/3 pound of fertilizer to raise every pound of cotton. Synthetic fertilizers have been found to contaminate drinking wells in farm communities and pose other long-term threats to farm land.

conventional cotton - Wayi Bamboo - Stay Comfortable! Manufacturers of fine bamboo clothing, bamboo clothes, bamboo socks, bamboo baby clothing, anti-bacterial, all natural, and organic
One of the commonly used pesticides on cotton throughout the world, endosulfan, leached from cotton fields into a creek in Lawrence County, Alabama during heavy rains in 1995. Within days 245,000 fish were killed over 16 mile stretch. 142,000 pounds of endosulfan were used in California in 1994.

In California's San Joaquin Valley, estimates are that less than 25% of a pesticide sprayed from a crop duster ever hits the crop. The remainder can drift for several miles, coming to rest on fruit and vegetable crops, and farm- workers. One year more than one hundred workers fell ill after a single incident of such drift onto an adjacent vineyard.

In California, it has become illegal to feed the leaves, stems, and short fibers of cotton known as "gin trash" to livestock, because of the concentrated levels of pesticide residue. Instead, this gin trash is used to make furniture, mattresses, tampons, swabs, and cotton balls. The average American woman will use 11,000 tampons or sanitary pads during her lifetime.

The problems with clothing production don't stop in the field. During the conversion of conventional cotton into clothing, numerous toxic chemicals are added at each stage; silicone waxes, harsh petroleum scours, softeners, heavy metals, flame and soil retardants, ammonia, and formaldehyde just to name just a few.

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