Environment and health

Fur production is extremely harmful to our environment. Far from being a natural resource, fur production is an intensely toxic and energy-consumptive process, with pelts being dipped in toxic chemical soups and animal waste runoff polluting soil and waterways.

Several European advertising standards committees have ruled that advertising fur as environmentally friendly is “false and misleading.” Plus, endangered animals killed or maimed by fur traps is an ecological disaster.

It takes at least 4 times more energy to produce a real fur coat than to produce a synthetic fur coat, mostly due to animal feed and emissions of manure.

Hazardous chemicals

Animal skin, once removed, will rot, unless it is treated with toxic chemicals. Even then, it must be kept cool and guarded against insects. Environmentally harmful products including chromium and formaldehyde are used in the processing of real fur garments to keep them from rotting. Many fur farmers and processors have been fined for releasing toxic waste into the environment.

Health risks

In the process of conserving, bleaching and dying pelts, various hazardous chemicals are applied. Extensive international research has pointed out that toxics in fur pose a serious health risk. High levels of chemicals as formaldehyde and ethoxylates are found in most fur trims, which can cause allergies, cancer and hormonal imbalance.

Toxics in fur

Toxics in fur are absorbed through air or skin and can remain in the body for over twenty years, causing chronic health effects. Recent studies in Italy, The Netherlands and Germany have detected significant harmful amounts of toxic substances in fur trims on children fashion wear by brands as D&G, Woolrich, Canada Goose and Nickelson.

More facts


Toxic Fur: A Global Issue. Research in China (2018)
A study commissioned by ACTAsia

Toxic Fur (2016)
A report of the research laboratory Bremer Umweltinstitut commissioned by Bont voor Dieren.

Poisons in Furs (2011)
A study by EcoAid commissioned by FOUR PAWS.

TOXIC FUR: The Impacts of Fur Production on the Environment and the Risks to Human Health (2009)
A report by the Humane Society of the United States.


FACT SHEET The Environmental Impact of Fur

Natural mink fur and faux fur products, an environmental comparison (2013)
A study by independent research institute CE Delft, commissioned by Bont voor Dieren, GAIA and LAV.

Environmental Impact of Mink Farm Production (2011)
A study by independent research institute CE Delft, commissioned by Bont voor Dieren, GAIA and LAV.

Cruelty is Not Green
A report by The Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals.

The impacts of the mink industry on freshwater lakes in Nova Scotia (2011)
A study by the David Suzuki Foundation.

Latest news

  • High levels of toxic chemicals found in fur by new Chinese study

    29 NOVEMBER 2018 - Scientific analysis of six fur fashion items purchased from high-street stores in

    Negative impact of fur farms on local residents revealed by new Polish research

    POLAND, 20 NOVEMBER 2018 - A new Polish research report paints an alarming picture of the impact of

    International seminar in Sarajevo on the impact of fur farming

    Last Thursday international experts gathered in Sarajevo to discuss the negative impact of fur farmi

  • Fur farm in Flanders shuts down

    Mink fur farm in Flanders shuts down

    27 JUNE 2016,  BELGIUM - Last February, Belgian animal protection organisation GAIA together with s

    Toxic Fur

    Fur on children’s wear full of toxics

    AMSTERDAM, 12 JANUARY 2016 -  Fur trims on children's jackets contain harmful levels of toxic chem

    Polish community resistant to mink farm plans

    POLAND - 10 JULY 2015 - Polish member organization of the Fur Free Alliance, Otwarte Klatki, reports