Synthetic Clothing Major Contributors to Microfiber Pollution, Study Reveals | Delhi News
New Delhi: Synthetic clothing is a huge contributor to microfiber pollution, according to a new study by Toxics Link. Synthetic garments, such as polyester, acrylic, and nylon, are made of plastic and account for approximately 60% of the clothing material in the world. Major sources of microfibers entering the environment include household laundry, the textile and tire industry, and the fragmentation of larger plastics, including PET bottles and fishing nets.
Microfiber pollution can have a significant impact on the environment and human health due to its tiny size and ability to penetrate different ecosystems. When ingested, these particles can induce chemical leaching in the body, further disrupting the immune system and nervous system, causing congenital disabilities and other tissue damage.
Microfibers are a type of microplastic with a size of less than 5 mm. The study raises serious concerns about microfiber pollution in India, especially as synthetic garments are grabbing substantial market share in the country.
The new report, which looked at global studies across the world, pointed out that 124 to 308 mg of microfibers are released per kg of washed fabric during washing, depending on the type of garment. The study also reported that synthetic textiles add around 35% to the global discharge of primary microplastics into the world’s oceans.
“While threaded PET bottles are touted as a great eco-friendly option, these plastic threads also contribute to microfiber pollution. The washing machines we use at home do not contain any filtration system that can filter microfibers. So the microfibers can easily pass through it and through the drainage system to reach rivers and oceans,” said Priti Banthia Mahesh, Chief Program Coordinator, Toxics Link.
She added that globally, technologies are being developed and microfiber filters for washing machines and microfiber capture devices, which can filter microfibers to prevent them from spilling into channels. of water, are available. But, in India, there has been little effort in this direction, she said.
Satish Sinha, Associate Director of Toxics Link, said: “It is imperative to bring together key stakeholders and institutionalize ways to reduce plastic contamination across the textile value chain.