Most parents and relatives focus on the designs and sizes when buying cloths for children. Little attention is given to the possibility that these clothes could be agents of poisoning. Some are laden with chemicals from their raw materials to the processes of manufacturing and storage. Their delicate skins begin to come into contact with chemicals at a very early age leading to damage. The damage may be irreparable, and sometimes extends to other organs in the body.
The challenge with chemicals arises from the farm as cotton is grown. Its delicate nature means that a lot of chemicals are applied. This results in heavily contaminated raw materials. There are very few regulations on the application of chemicals on fabrics and even when they exist, there are numerous loopholes through which chemicals are allowed to stay. To protect people and especially the delicate children certifications have been introduced to indicate the levels of freedom from destructive chemicals on cloths. Here are some of the certification details to check on children cloths.
- Standard 100 by OEKO –TEX
This is a global, independent and consistent certification standard that focuses on raw, semi-finished and finished fabrics and textile materials. It affects the raw and finished yarns, knitted and woven fabrics as well as accessories like zips, buttons, threads and even labels. The standard uses a scientific criterion that measures the existence of several substances. Products certified must meet high chemical freedom standards throughout the production chain.
- GOTS Standard
This is a leading textile standard certification with the initials representing Global Organic Textile Standard. The first version was published in 2005 and has continually been improved, with the 2017 standard being Version 5. The garments are required to adhere to verifiable and practical social and ecological requirements that are globally accepted. The standards are in regards to processing, product manufacturing, packaging of raw materials and finished products, labeling, sale and distribution, with the target category being fibers that are certified as organic and natural. The quality assurance procedure has manufacturing and processing, environmental, technical quality and human toxicity as well as a social criteria. This standard is constantly reviewed to take to account emerging standards.
- CPSIA-Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act
This is a standard derived from the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act that came to effect in August of 2008. The act was aimed at ensuring that children products are free of harmful chemical compounds and their origins can be traced. The products are constantly tested at the initial stage, periodically and for material changes in the process of use. Some of the compounds of concern include lead and phthalate where their limit is stipulated in the regulations.
- SA8000 Fair Trade
This is a standard that has been in existence since 2007 having been developed by Social Accountability International. The idea was to harmonize the standard codes by creating a standard language and social compliance measure. One of the performance measures used in this standard is health and safety where the manufacturing process is scrutinized not to flout these rules. With this label, you are sure of the safety of the product.
The label is provided to products that meet regulations issued by Fairtrade International. These requirements are based on environmental, economic and social considerations. The focus during certification is actions from the production of raw materials to processing and manufacture as well as storage and distribution. Regular checks are carried out to ascertain that these standards are maintained. With his certification, you are sure that the children cloths have been produced through a fair process that is considerate of the welfare of workers, environment and the society at large.
- USDA Organic
There is a growing need for organic products. These are products grown using natural methods that are devoid of chemical interference. The certification provided by US Department of Agriculture ascertains that the cloth is made from raw materials that are grown in a chemical free environment. Processing and manufacturing activities are also evaluated to ascertain that they remain free of harmful chemicals. This maintains the purity of the resulting garment, making it safe for children and adults alike. This is therefore one of the most valuable labels you will find on cloths.
- NASAA Organic
NASAA standard aims at assisting producers and manufacturers to achieve Certified Organic Status. The organization has its origin in Australia and is responsible for products emanating from Australia. The standard is guided by defined and constantly reviewed organic and biodynamic standards. The standards have to adhere to even for products being imported.
- Green America
The goal of this certification is to recognize businesses that commit to social change through their operations. The principles, practices and policies adopted by these businesses must be geared towards improving the quality of life of employees, customers, surrounding community and the general planet. Cloths with such a label have passed the test of environmental consciousness and responsibility, making them safe for use even on children. The Green America Seal comes in ordinary and Gold varieties. This indicates the level of compliance and commitment.
It is good for children to look colorful in the clothes they wear. However, this beauty must last long and protect the long term health of children. Check the labels for appropriate certification to avoid exposure to harmful chemicals. Since certification is given for different requirements and by different bodies, there is need to go for the combined standards that affect products of domestic and foreign origin.
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