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More Study and Greater Regulation of Toxic Chemicals in Textiles Needed, Says David Brookstein, Sc.D., Director of Philadelphia University Institute for Textile and Apparel Safety

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2008-04-19 03:54:12     
Philadelphia University

Concerns continue to mount about the safety of textiles and apparel products used by U.S. consumers. Just this week, a Harvard School of Public Health Study found a link between formaldehyde exposure and a greater risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis - ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease - and several artificial turf fields in New Jersey were closed due to concerns about lead compounds in the turf fibers.

As reports of potential health threats continue to come to light, "we are quite concerned about potentially toxic materials that U.S. consumers are exposed to everyday in textiles and apparel available in this country," said David Brookstein, Sc.D., dean of the School of Engineering and Textile and director of Philadelphia University's Institute for Textile and Apparel Product Safety (ITAPS).

In testing so far, ITAPS researchers have found elevated levels of formaldehyde in children's clothing and brominated resins in car seats; both of these chemicals are known to have health risks.

The Institute was established last fall in the wake of growing concerns about the safety of a wide range of consumer items, including lead-tainted toys. ITAPS is conducting research to determine if potentially toxic chemicals are present in imported clothing and other textile products and the extent of their use, and will help establish protocols for testing and evaluating imported items.

Dr. Brookstein supports legislative efforts by Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) that would require the Consumer Product Safety Commission to study the use of formaldehyde in apparel. Currently, there are few U.S. regulatory standards for imported clothing or textiles and Dr. Brookstein notes that many European countries, as well as Japan and Australia, have much stricter restrictions on the use of chemicals in textiles and apparel.

Philadelphia University, with its long history of textile-related research and programs, is uniquely positioned to lead efforts to identify problems and help ensure the safety of imported apparel.

Philadelphia University, founded in 1884, is a private university with 3,300 full- and part-time students enrolled in more than 50 undergraduate and graduate programs.

The University, which until 1999 was the Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science, includes Schools of Architecture, Business Administration, Design and Media, Engineering and Textiles, Liberal Arts, and Science and Health.

Specialized in: Philadelphia University - Stephen Spinelli - Philadelphia College Of Textiles - Philadelphia College - University Philadelphia - University Of Philadelphia - Philau - Phillyu - Philadelphiauniversity - Philadelphia Universities - Universities In Philadelphia
URL: http://www.philau.edu
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