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FASHION VALUE CHAIN

While Shein would love it if the most debated aspect of the company was the pronunciation of its name (is it shine or SHE-in?!), unfortunately, the fast fashion brand has plenty of other controversies that have customers divided. Notably, people are wondering if Shein clothes have lead. Are these rumors true, and if so, are they reason enough to boycott this company?

Is there lead in Shein clothing?

CBC Marketplace tested garments obtained from many fast fashion retailers in a lab in October 2021. They found that several things they had bought from Shein, AliExpress, and Zaful all had “elevated amounts of chemicals.”

According to guidelines established by Health Canada, the researchers discovered that a Shein toddler jacket had about 20 times the level of lead that is acceptable for children, and a Shein purse had more than five times the permissible level.

These products are referred to as “hazardous waste” by environmental chemist Miriam Diamond, who assisted with Marketplace’s lab testing. “We’re buying what seems cute and in style on this really short fashion cycle, which alarms me, Diamond said. “What we’re doing today is looking for extremely fleeting pleasure in some apparel items that cost so much in terms of our future health and the health of the earth. That expense is not justified.”

Diamond continued by saying that if these items are harmful to consumers, they are probably considerably more harmful to industrial workers who must deal with the toxins firsthand.

What is lead? This toxic heavy metal can pose dangers to babies and children.

Lead is a naturally occurring element that is also a dangerous heavy metal, according to the EPA. High exposure levels of lead can be harmful to both people’s and animals’ health. Pregnant women and kids under the age of six should avoid excessive lead exposure because lead has been related to a number of reproductive and developmental concerns.

Low blood lead levels in children can result in anaemia, hyperactivity, stunted growth, hearing problems, and problems with learning. According to studies, pregnant women can transmit deposited lead to their foetuses, increasing the chance of miscarriage, premature birth or small-for-gestational-age babies, problems with the brain, kidneys, or neurological system, and behavioural problems in young children.