Sep 12, 2010

Levi’s and H&M to Ban Sandblasting Jeans

Levi’s and H&M will stop selling stonewashed jeans.
According the Finnish trade union federation SASK: “When jeans are sandblasted, very fine sand dust floats in the air that the workers breathe. The dust is from the sand which is used to blow the treated jeans material with pressurized air. Breathing air polluted with sand dust is deadly to humans. It blocks the lung tracks causing them to get infected and scarred. If the exposure continues for a long time the worker contracts silicosis and the result is early death. There is no known cure for the disease.”
Sandblasting has been banned in Europe for decades, but the process still is done in small shops in Turkey, despite the fact that it was prohibited in that country 2009. According to SASK, at least 40 workers in jeans manufacture have died due to inhaling sand dust at their workplace. There are other methods of obtaining the stonewashed effect on denim, but the other methods are slow and expensive compared to sandblasting.
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