ITALY, 28 JANUARY 2015 -The Italian Ministry of Health orders the withdrawal of clothing items from the market that contain toxic animal fur components. The withdrawal results from a new research by Italian Fur Free Alliance member LAV (Anti-Vivisection League) that shows high levels of hazardous chemicals in fur on children’s jackets posing a serious health threat. The Ministry of Health classified the tested baby products as ‘dangerous products’ and has ordered to withdraw a hooded jacket with a rabbit fur trim of the brand Blumarine Baby and a lamb fur baby blanket of the brand Christ. Earlier this month, new research commissioned by the Dutch organisation Bont voor Dieren similarly showed high levels of carcinogenic toxics in children’s fashion of brands as Canada Goose, Nickelson and Airforce.
The Ministry of Health came to its decision after a risk assessment made by the National Health Institute (Istituto Superiore della Sanità) and the subsequent complaint by LAV, as result of the Toxic Fur 2 research conducted by the Animalistic Association. Simone Pavesi, responsible for LAV Ethical Fashion, says:
“The Ministry of Health needs to acknowledge, since the Directorate General for Health Prevention has required these items to be withdrawn from the market, that fur production processes are rarely standardisable and so, each single fur item may contain toxic chemical and carcinogenic substances, used during the tanning phase. These concentrations are potentially hazardous for the consumer’s health, especially when the consumer is very young. A definite ban on the sales of of fur therefore justified, and both in the interest of citizens and risk groups.”
Independent tests, conducted by the Carabinieri NAS (Ministerial Department of Food Safety), have revealed very high levels of hexavalent chromium for the Blumarine Baby item (respectively 37,3 mg/kg and 27,1mg/kg, against the maximum security level of 3 mg/kg in accordance with the EU Regulation 301/2014 ). Hexavalent chromium, besides being a carcinogenic substance, may cause allergic reactions (for ex. Contact eczema) in hypersusceptible individuals. Moreover, the Blumarine Baby item has a large concentration of trivalent chromium (absorbable through the sweat glands), 168mg/kg, while a maximum of 18mg/kg is recommended by ISS (National Health Institute) to avoid effects of skin sensitisers. Likewise in the lamb fur infant blanket of the brand Christ – which is distributed in Italy through the web site www.bellicomeilsole.it – a high level of 35mg/kg trivalent chromium (absorbable through the sweat glands) was found.
For items of the brands D&G and Woolrich, which were also tested as part of the Toxic Fur 2 research by LAV, the ministry was not able to carry out official tests due to unavailability of those items on site. The Toxic Fur 2 tests have revealed the following dangerous substances:
• WOOLRICH (child parka bimbo 24 months, with raccoon dog fur), code 07 8055683648348 WKCPS1746, trivalent chromium removable from sweat 86 mg/kg, formaldehyde 96 mg/kg.
• D&G (little girl coat 36 months, with rabbit fur), code 31 L51C23 FU2J5 S8292 MELANGE GREY, hexavalent chromium 3,5mg/kg, trivalent chromium (CR III) removable from sweat 219 mg/kg.
All measures of the Ministry of Health have been issued according to article 107 of the Legislative Decree 206/2005, defined as “Consumer Code”, regarding the fundamental right of health care for consumers. With the first Toxic Fur research, conducted in 2013, LAV accomplished a temporary stop of sales of children items containing animal furs (of brands such as IL GUFO, BRUMS, MISS BLUMARINE, MINIFIX, GUCCI), that has resulted in a definite stop for some of them.
Read more about toxic fur here.