Organic Cotton by Guest Blogger, December 02 2008, 0 Comments
Conventional cotton crops require the application of more synthetic pesticides than any other crop: approximately 25% of the world’s insecticides and 10% of all pesticides are used on cotton. Most cotton grown outside the US is covered in dangerous pesticides that have been banned for contaminating drinking water, posing serious health risks to humans and other animals, poisoning farmers, and harming natural environments. Many of these banned pesticides are carcinogenic and with complex molecular structures that do not break down easily, can have significant residual effects. Additionally, scientific research has not determined the health risks from continual exposure to pesticide residue in cotton. For these reasons, the common belief that cotton—even "all natural" cotton—is harmless may be questionable.
Where does that leave cotton-lovers? Wearing only polyester and fleece? Fortunately, there is a strong and growing market for sustainable organic cotton. Sustainable cotton provides the same comfort of conventional cotton without the health and environmental impacts from dangerous chemicals that went into its production. Simply buying an organic cotton t-shirt instead of a conventional shirt saves about one third of a pound of synthetic pesticides, and clothing companies such as Patagonia and American Apparel make it easier for consumers to make this choice. Buying organic cotton t-shirts, jeans, underwear and sheets means major social, environmental and health benefits around the world.
Check out Patagonia and Organic Cotton: A Case Study.
Guest Blogger: Jessie Mee