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<p><a href="http://health.yahoo.net/articles/healthcare/wash-and-then-wear-unwashed-clothes-may-have-formaldehyde" target="_blank">http://health.yahoo.net/articles/healthcare/wash-and-then-wear-unwashed-clothes-may-have-formaldehyde</a></p>
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<div>The U.S. doesn’t regulate formaldehyde levels in clothing. But certain other countries do, and a recent report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office noted that levels in textile products they tested here in the U.S. met the most rigorous standards established elsewhere—about 75 parts per million for items that are in direct contact with the skin. </div>
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<div><span><span>And a few items GAO tested did reach as high as 200 ppm. According to the GAO report, allergic contact dermatitis characteristic of formaldehyde exposure includes redness, swelling, <a class="hl-navLink" id="user_hlnavlink_17">blisters</a> and flaky dry skin that can burn or itch.</span></span></div>
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<p>I wonder if this applies to organic clothing as well?</p>
 

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<p>Wash new clothes in vinegar - about a cup and a half to a load - helps remove some of the chemicals....</p>
 

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<p>The NYT ran a similar article--it's only anti-wrinke/wrinkle-free clothes that are treated with it. Regular clothes should be fine. Based on my experience w/ dress shirts, I think you'd have to wash a treated item at least a couple of dozen times to get the chemicals out. Such a bummer, because I love those iron-free shirts for DH, but bleh, formaldehyde. OTOH I doubt the dry cleaner's chemicals are much better.</p>
 

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<p>Even without the chemicals, I recommend washing before wearing.  I don't always myself but you seriously never know what happens.  You don't know who touched them or how much they were on the floor or who they were tried on by and what was on THEIR body when they tried them on... clothes are kinda gross when you don't know their history hehe.</p>
 

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<p>Most clothes are transported in plastic bags, and plastic off-gasses.  If they are hung in the store, they catch a lot of dust and can pick up other environmental toxins -- not to mention how they might be handled, like a pp pointed out.  Most fabric is treated with something, even if it's not formaldehyde, to give it stiffness so that it can be manufactured. </p>
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<p>I *always* wash new clothing.  No exceptions.</p>
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