Mordants and other chemicals often used to treat leather are linked to nervous disorders, asthma, premature death, gynaecological disorders, weakness, dizziness, headaches, abdominal pain, nausea, constipation, skin and respiratory infections, cancer and other serious illnesses. According to an investigation by the New York State Department of Health, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and other agencies, those who work in tanneries may be greatly increasing their risk of testicular cancer. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that in an area near one Kentucky leather tannery, the incidence of leukaemia was five times the national average.
Often, animal skins used for leather are kept from biodegrading (going rotten) by using a variety of dangerous substances, including mineral salts (chromium, aluminium, iron and zirconium), formaldehyde, coal-tar derivatives and various oils and dyes, some of which are cyanide-based. All waste containing chromium is considered hazardous by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other bodies.
consider this: nearly half of all water used in the US is used to raise animals for meat and leather! According to the EPA, factory farms are the biggest source of pollution of rivers, streams and lakes. In December 1997, the US Senate Agricultural Committee released a report that stated that animals raised for food and leather produce 130 times as much excrement as the entire human population - without the benefit of waste-treatment systems. A Scripps Howard synopsis of the report stated, ‘Catastrophic cases of pollution, sickness, and death are occurring in areas where livestock operations are concentrated’.
Wearing leather hurts animals, the environment, and the people who produce it. Care for the planet and all the species that inhabit it by buying readily-available alternatives.
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