Chemicals

Pali Textile Units Pollute Bandi River Despite NGT Stay

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By Dinesh Bothra

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Effluents from textile units in Rajasthan’s Pali district pollute the Bandi river.(HT Photo)

Textile units in Pali city continue to release polluted water into the Bandi river, violating a National Green Tribunal (NGT) order staying their operation.

On October 3 last year, the NGT stayed the operation of about 800 textile units after environmentalists moved the tribunal over pollution of the Bandi river.

The water resources department recently exposed secret operation of some units. In a letter to the regional officer of the Rajasthan Pollution Control Board on March 17, executive engineer Ramnarayan Chaudhary said some textile units in Pali were releasing polluted water into the Bandi, a seasonal river of western Rajasthan.

The river water is stored in Nehda dam, about 40km from Pali city. Choudhary said, “Chemical water is reaching the Nehda dam through Bandi river.”

The dam remains filled to its full capacity though water stored during the rainy season was released for irrigation. “This makes it clear that water released from textile units in Pali is reaching the dam,” Choudhary said.

The water resources department tested the water quality. “The water in the dam is of no use for consumption and irrigation as its quality has deteriorated,” the executive engineer said. “Closure of textile units is just an eyewash.”

The quality test reports are stunning, said Mahaveer Singh Sukarlai, an environmentalist who went to the NGT over Bandi river pollution.

“The TDS (total dissolved solids) of the water stored in the dam after the rain was recorded at 560 PPM (parts per million); it has now risen to 2950. The electrical conductivity of the water has increased to 6.3 from 1.7,” Sukarlai said.

Around 200 million cubic feet of water has been polluted though the state government focuses on Mukhya Mantri Jal Swavlamban Abhiyan, environmentalists said.

Rajeev Pareek, regional officer of the Rajasthan Pollution Control Board, said a team has been formed to keep an eye on the operation of textile units.

“Electric and water supply to eight textile units, found violating the NGT order, was snapped. Twelve more such units would be deprived of water and electric connections,” Pareek said.

“Supply of three-phase electricity to the industrial area will be stopped soon so that the textile units cannot operate secretly.”

*This story first appeared on Hindustan Times

Kingpins Transformers Sound off on the Denim Industry’s Chemical Problem

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Each Kingpins Transformers, the seasonal summit focusing on the social, economic and environmental challenges facing the denim industry, brings attention to the need for industry-wide regulations.

At the most recent seminar titled “Toxic Future: Is the Scary Part of Hazardous Chemicals On the Way?” held in Amsterdam on Monday, speakers from all parts of the supply chain had a turn to voice their concerns about the mounting pressure to create denim without hazardous chemicals and the rising costs that come with safer products.

Speakers agreed on the need for more collaboration and action, though many warned that in the process of fixing one problem, new ones may be created. Here are a few takeaways from the event.

It’s Complicated
Alberto De Conti, Garmon Chemicals CMO, said the vast volume of chemicals used in the manufacturing process, coupled with the multi-tiered textile supply chain that involved tens of thousands of suppliers worldwide, adds to the complexity of wiping the denim industry clean of hazardous chemicals.

And then there’s the industry’s “regulatory schizophrenia.”

Every time a new molecule is discovered, De Conti said there’s a long process of regulation, which differs from country to country. On top of this, brands have their own initiatives and restricted substance lists. As a chemical company, Garmon has more than 200 brand-driven lists that it must follow.

“It’s excessive,” De Conti said. From 2012 to 2016, Garmon’s overhead costs increased 200 percent and the cost of compliance grew 1,700 percent.

“It’s not sustainable. You have a brand pushed by Greenpeace, they go to their manufacturer and ask for innovation, quality, shorter lead times, on-time delivery and they [want] environmental compliance and lower prices. So what does the manufacturer do? He turns to his suppliers, including chemical companies, but its hard to provide a low price due to previous cost increases. There’s temptation to go out and look for chemicals that are low quality and not checked as much as they should be. So you get retox—all the measures to minimize the problem creates a new problem,” he said.

In the end, De Conti says it’s a game that no one wins. The cost of chemicals go up, control decreases, brand risk goes up and innovation and quality decline.

“Do we need so much complexity? If the potential problem is a common one, why not one common solution?” he asked.

There’s a lot of BS.
From organic cotton’s “toxic” certification process and its high cost in the U.S. compared with Europe, to the impossibility of using natural indigo on a large industrial scale, Alberto Candiani, co-owner and global manager at Candiani Denim, named the “top ten sustainable BS” he hears from the industry.

Candiani encouraged the industry to stop “demonizing” processes until it has all the facts. PP Spray is only bad if it’s not neutralized, and sandblasting can be safe in the proper working conditions, he said. Candiani’s “worst nightmare” is toxic dilution, or lowering the amount of hazardous chemicals by using more water to dilute it.

“Everyone has to commit to reduce the use of chemicals and at the same time water waste and discharge needs to be controlled,” he said

The Case of Aniline
Panelist questioned the fate of aniline, the organic toxic compound that was a precursor to indigo. While Candiani believed aniline is safe unless the indigo sublimes, Miguel Sanchez, Archroma global head business development of denim and casual wear, argued otherwise.

“Indigo and aniline are of so close together,” said Sanchez. “Aniline is a classified B2 carcinogenic, that means it’s potentially carcinogenic.”

“The idea that something that is natural is safe is wrong.”

Sanchez said there’s no advantage in having aniline content in natural indigo. “The idea that something that is natural is safe is wrong.”

“It doesn’t matter if it is coming from natural indigo or synthetic, you have the same risk,” added Christian Dreszig, Bluesign Technologies head of marketing.

Sanchez expects more consumers and safety organizations to take note of the potential risk aniline poses because information is readily accessible online. He said Swedish children’s brand Polarn O. Pyret examined aniline-free denim from different brands and found that the chemical was still present. “And from there other brands have been doing their own work on it. The link between aniline and indigo goes beyond the moment the indigo is on the garment,” he said.

The industry could experience its biggest shake-up if ZHDC (Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals) ever named aniline a banned substance. “It will change your life in the industry because then you cannot use indigo for any blue jeans,” said Dreszig.

*This story first appeared on Rivet and Jeans

Levi’s develops ‘preferred substances list’ for suppliers

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Company’s Screened Chemistry Programme will establish ‘best-in-class’ chemicals

31 March 2016 / North America, Textiles & apparel, Alternatives assessment & substitution, Global, Restricted substance lists

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Leigh Stringer

Global Business Editor

Clothing company Levi Strauss is developing a list of ‘preferred substances’ – those safer for the environment and human health – for its suppliers.

The list will be a result of the company’s Screened Chemistry Programme, which assesses the environmental and human health impact of chemicals used in the finishing process of its products.

The programme uses chemical screening tool GreenScreen, and the US EPA’s Safer Choices Programme, to determine which substances are better to use.

Both methodologies are based on chemical hazard assessment and look at a variety of human health and environmental endpoints.

“Our goal was to create a framework for screening chemicals against human health and environmental toxicity hazard endpoints, to identify best-in-class chemicals or better alternatives,” said Bart Sights, vice president of technical innovation.

Mr Sights told Chemical Watch that the two methodologies provide “visibility” of the chemical substances used by its suppliers and help to identify both approved and restricted chemicals for use in textiles finishing and raw materials.

“It allows us to make better choices on the chemicals used to make our products and have a dialogue with our chemical supplier on where improvements can be made,” he added.

Once the company’s screening programme is fully operational, it is intended that Levi’s suppliers will switch to using the preferred chemical list.

The company aims to encourage industry-wide uptake of chemical screening, by working with the ZDHC group, an industry initiative made up of apparel and retailer brands to achieve the goal of zero discharge of hazardous chemicals by 2020.

It has also committed to Greenpeace’s Detox campaign to eliminate all release of hazardous chemicals, throughout its supply chain, by 2020. Levi’s phased out perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), announcing its achievement in January.

Greenpeace’s Kirsten Brodde, project lead of the Detox My Fashion campaign, told Chemical Watch that Levi’s is among many brands working on screening programmes and “green chemistry” lists.

Another example is Nike, which in 2010 introduced a Sustainable Chemistry Guidance (SCG) section to its Restricted Substances List (RSL) that highlights “positive” chemistries. And Adidas is using Switzerland-based certification company, Bluesign’s chemical data management system, Bluefinder. With this, it says, suppliers select “best-in-class” chemicals included in the database.

Ms Brodde said: “We clearly acknowledge Levi’s work, as a Detox committed company, on the precaution and substitution of hazardous chemicals such as the entirety of PFCs.” 

*This story first appeared on Chemical Watch

Seven expeditions across the globe to detox the great outdoors

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by Gabriele Salari

Image Source: Greenpeace
Image Source: Greenpeace

Four years ago, when we started challenging the fashion industry to commit to eliminating toxic chemicals, we didn’t know how far we could get. Today, Detox is becoming a standard for textiles; something that brands are proud to be a part of. It is time to challenge another sector: the outdoor industry.

In 2012 and 2013 Greenpeace Germany conducted investigations which showed that most of the outdoor sector relies on per- and polyfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) to make outdoor gear waterproof.

Some PFCs are known to be hazardous. With others, we don’t know enough. That’s why we are calling for much more stringent regulations to protect the environment and our health. In light of the hazardous properties of many PFCs, it is not enough to merely regulate single substances as is currently being done at the international level. Greenpeace demands that the entire group of PFCs be put to the test.

Read full article on the Greenpeace blog here.

Orta and Garmon to Implement GreenScreen Chemical Screening

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By | This post first appeared on Rivet here.

Source: GreenScreen
Source: GreenScreen

Orta Anadolu is on the road to make denim greener. The Turkish denim mill has partnered with Garmon Chemicals to apply GreenScreen chemical hazard screening methodology on denim fabrics. Together, the companies plan to develop a new breed of highly eco-conscious denim materials. GreenScreen for Safer Chemicals is a publicly available and transparent chemical hazard screening method purely based on toxicology developed by the NGO “Clean Production Action” (CPA) to help companies move toward the use of greener and safer chemicals. By implementing GreenScreen, industries, governments and NGOs can identify safer chemicals in their materials procurement and product design and development. Garmon Chemicals has obtained GreenScreen certification on a large portion of its chemicals, making it a leader in the garment industry. Orta Anadolu said it has decided to adopt Garmon GreenScreen certified chemicals to lead the development of three “radical denim fabric advancements.” GreenScreen for Safer Chemicals is currently used by Nike, Hewlett-Packard and Staples, as well as the state governments of Washington and Maine.

Huntsman Textile Effects enhances digital printing efficiency with NOVACRON® XKS HD inks

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Reactive inks deliver deeper shades and optimum print performance at lower cost

Singapore – Huntsman Textile Effects has introduced NOVACRON® XKS HD reactive inks for industrial ink jet printing. The inks achieve deep and very deep shades as well as true black on multiple fibers.

NOVACRON® XKS HD inks’ high color strength requires less ink to achieve the desired depth of color. The inks are Kyocera-tested and compatible with Kyocera high-speed printer heads commonly used by printer manufacturers.

NOVACRON® XKS HD inks deliver a high-performance result with minimal printer maintenance or downtime, and minimizes ink wastage. It offers excellent runnability and up to 50% more color intensity than other reactive inks available in the market.

“Industrial digital printing faces the challenge of delivering superior quality and optimum print reliability while effectively managing cost and environmental impact.

NOVACRON® XKS HD inks address these demands and deliver the full effect of digital designs – intense, vivid colors and top quality finishing,” said Joerg von Allmen, Global Director of New Business Development for Huntsman Textile Effects. “Our innovative formulation enhances efficiency by reducing ink consumption without compromising on color intensity. NOVACRON® XKS HD inks can be combined with Huntsman’s PREPAJET UNITM pre-preparation auxiliary for exceptional color, printing efficiency and cost savings.”

The special polymer structure of the PREPAJET UNITM auxiliary prevents ink migration on the fabric surface enabling optimum sharpness, definition and color intensity. It is easy to apply and remove, and is suitable for use on all fibers.

The NOVACRON&r eg; XKS HD ink range contains eight high density colors for achieving deep and very deep shades, including very deep black. Its market-leading and exceptional color-fastness are ideal for industrial digital printing of apparel and home textiles.

Copyright© 2015 Huntsman. All rights reserved. NOVACRON is a registered trademark of Huntsman Corporation or an affiliate thereof in one or more, but not all countries. PREPAJET is a trademark of Huntsman Corporation.