Heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury, are still being used in dyes and pigments associated with the textile industry. Chromium (VI) is used as a catalyst in the dyeing process and as a dye for wool. it is highly toxic in low concentrations, and has a strong negative impact of marine life.
These heavy metals accumulate in the body and are highly toxic. Irreversible effects include, damage to the nervous system, and kidneys. Cadmium is known to cause cancer.
In the EU cadmium, mercury and lead are classified as a Priority Hazardous Substances (PHS) and they are dealt with using extreme caution. These heavy metals are deadly, and are still being used today in the fashion industry.
Looking for GOTS certified clothing will protect you and others of these toxic heavy metals.