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Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2015 Apr;22(8):5842-9. doi: 10.1007/s11356-014-3691-0. Epub 2014 Oct 25.

Benzothiazole, benzotriazole, and their derivates in clothing textiles--a potential source of environmental pollutants and human exposure.

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Department of Analytical Chemistry, Arrhenius Laboratory, Stockholm University, 10691, Stockholm, Sweden.


Textiles play an important role in our daily life, and textile production is one of the oldest industries. In the manufacturing chain from natural and/or synthetic fibers to the final clothing products, the use of many different chemicals is ubiquitous. A lot of research has focused on chemicals in textile wastewater, but the knowledge of the actual content of harmful chemicals in clothes sold on the retail market is limited. In this paper, we have focused on eight benzothiazole and benzotriazole derivatives, compounds rated as high production volume chemicals. Twenty-six clothing samples of various textile materials and colors manufactured in 14 different countries were analyzed in textile clothing using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. Among the investigated textile products, 11 clothes were for babies, toddlers, and children. Eight of the 11 compounds included in the investigation were detected in the textiles. Benzothiazole was present in 23 of 26 investigated garments in concentrations ranging from 0.45 to 51 μg/g textile. The garment with the highest concentration of benzothiazole contained a total amount of 8.3 mg of the chemical. The third highest concentration of benzothiazole (22 μg/g) was detected in a baby body made from "organic cotton" equipped with the "Nordic Ecolabel" ("Svanenmärkt"). It was also found that concentrations of benzothiazoles in general were much higher than those for benzotriazoles. This study implicates that clothing textiles can be a possible route for human exposure to harmful chemicals by skin contact, as well as being a potential source of environmental pollutants via laundering and release to household wastewater.

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