Should You Worry About Toxic Bras?

Your bra could be keeping a very bad secret. This world of fast fashion and inexpensive lingerie we’re living in is actually creating some troubling side effects for bra wearers. Could your bra be toxic? The first thing to know is that you don’t necessarily need to panic. The evidence is mixed when it comes to some of the common claims regarding toxic bras. However, it is a good idea to educate yourself regarding the dangerous materials that could potentially be hiding inside your bra.

Why Are Some Bras Potentially Toxic?

Some bras contain a substance called polyurethane. This foam material is usually something that you’d only find at your local hardware store. However, bra manufacturers are increasingly using polyurethane as a way to bulk up fabrics. Many of the popular molded bras that you see from fashion retailers today contain polyurethane. What’s the verdict on the safety of polyurethane when it’s used in clothing? There doesn’t seem to be any evidence to prove that wearing bras containing polyurethane increases cancer risks. However, the reality is that polyurethane hasn’t been used in bra production for very long. It’s entirely possible that new information will emerge in the years to come. Just follow the simple rule, if the foam bra smells of chemicals, probably it is not good for you…

It’s a smart idea to avoid purchasing bras made with polyurethane if you tend to have sensitive skin. It’s important to keep in mind that polyurethane is a petroleum-based product. This substance simply doesn’t breathe well. Wearing a bra containing polyurethane will probably cause you to feel hot and sweaty. In addition, polyurethane has been linked with skin irritation. Another big concern to keep in mind is that bras made with polyurethane could eventually end up in landfills around the world. A cheap foam bra that you buy today could stick around to pollute the planet for a very long time.

Can Dyes and Fabrics Make Some Bras Toxic?

The synthetic fabrics and dyes that are widely used throughout the fashion industry can expose your skin to many harsh and dangerous substances. The reality is that mainstream clothing brands are looking for every way possible to cut costs. The rise of fast fashion means that mainstream brands also want to churn out current looks as quickly possible. Quality really suffers when the emphasis is placed on doing things quickly and cheaply. Here’s a glance at some of the toxins that are commonly used in the production of bras and lingerie today:

Chlorine bleach.
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
Perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs).
Heavy metals.

What are some of the health problems associated with the toxins in many mainstream bras? Links to leukemia, brain cancer and hormonal conditions have been found. In addition, some people experience immediate sensitivity when they come into contact with toxins in bras and lingerie. The short-term symptoms of exposure to toxic bras include dizziness, rashes and headaches. A class-action lawsuit was filed against Victoria’s Secret after dozens of customers experienced similar symptoms. European countries agreed to ban using toxic substances in clothing including lingerie. It is a big step forward as the U.S. or Asian manufacturers are still not controlled over this practice. If you want to go the safe way with colored bras, go for the ones made in Europe.

Are Underwire Bras Dangerous?

You might be wondering if it’s safe to wear underwire bras. Many stories claiming that underwires cause cancer have been passed around on the Internet in recent years. The theory is that underwire bras may cause breast cancer because they block the drainage of lymph fluid. What does the research say? It turns out that you would need to wear a bra that is extremely tight and constricting before you’d see any impact on your lymphatic system. Pressure cannot prompt normal cells to turn into cancerous cells. No scientific evidence in existence today supports the claim that underwires cause breast cancer. What’s more, the American Cancer Society points out that no real difference exists when it comes to cancer rates between women who wear wire bras and women who wear wire-free bras.

How to Avoid Toxic Bras

Handmade toxin-free underwire bra.

Sourcing your bras responsibly is so important. The fast-fashion lingerie that exists today tends to be made from low-quality materials. The sad reality is that manufacturers often use cheap toxins instead of carefully sourced materials when designing looks that are intended for mass production. You could end up paying for that cheap lingerie with your health. You can always focus on searching for custom made bras or handmade bras that are not a part of fast mass production.

There’s no need to put your health in jeopardy just because you need to wear a bra. You can go with the quality angle instead. Taking time to source your bra from a high-quality manufacturer will result in a much better fit. Brands that sell products made with toxins and cheap materials really don’t put much care into designing bras that fit properly and comfortably. You can’t expect a bra company that’s focused on cutting costs to really be concerned about delivering a product that is going to last for a long time. Most fast-fashion lingerie pieces are only meant to be worn for a season before you toss them in the trash. That’s not a cost-effective way to shop for bras. The best way to protect your health is to simply invest in a high-quality bra that is made using safe and responsible materials. Your health will thank you!