Safbaby.com is urging legislation to restrict the presence of formaldehyde in textile products. For any clothing articles that do contain formaldehyde, a mandatory label ("contains formaldehyde...") needs to be available for the consumer to know that the presence of this toxic gas is there.
Formaldehyde is strongly suspected of carcinogenic properties and can provoke allergic reactions like irritation of the eyes, skin and the respiratory system. Furthermore, formaldehyde can cause lung oedema and asthma when it is taken up through the respiratory organs.
It is commonly used in the clothing manufacturing industry as a stain resistant mechanism, to resist mildew, to fix color to a fabric, to give a permanent press effect, to stop shrinking and to make fabric more flame resistant. The application of formaldehyde primarily concerns cotton, viscose, linen and their blends with synthetic fibers.
Although Europe and Japan have limits set as to what they will allow for formaldehyde in textiles, the USA does not have ANY safety standard in place.
European Countries like Austria, Finland, Germany, Norway and Netherlands have laid down national legislation restricting the presence of formaldehyde in textile products. The US needs to get with the times here as well. This needs to be done for the health and well-being of our children and consumers at large.