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Dyes on Imported Fabric





Debra Lynn Dadd

Green Living - Questions & Answers

......with Debra Lynn Dadd









After recovering from MCS by removing toxic chemicals in her home, Debra Lynn Dadd went on to become a pioneering consumer advocate for health and the environment. Author of Home Safe Home, she also has a popular website containing a directory with more than 1000 links to nontoxic and eco-friendly products, a Q&A blog with many MCS bloggers, recipes for using natural sweeteners, and more. Debra is also available by phone for consultations. She lives in Florida with her husband, who drives a car powered by vegetable oil. Visit her website at




Tuesday, May 19th, 2009:


Dyes on Imported Fabric


by Debra Lynn Dadd





Hi Debra,


I've been looking for flannel sheets but noticed that many are imported. Not real clear on this issue, so do I need to be concerned about the type of dye that is used in any imported fabric? Which would mean only made in U.S. cotton or organic would be safe. Thanks for any info.


Lake Hughes, Ca





I've been sleeping on flannel sheets for over twenty years and have never noticed and ill effect from the dyes.


If a dye is "colorfast" -- that is, that it stays in the fabric without coming out during use or washing, it is staying within the fabric. If, for example, you wore a red shirt, and ended up with red armpits, some of the dye may be absorbed through your skin and into your bloodstream. I am not aware of any reason to be concerned about dyes that are colorfast.


Debra :-)








Learn more from Debra's bestselling book:


Home Safe Home: Creating a Healthy Home Environment by Reducing Exposure to Toxic Household Products

Home Safe Home: Creating a Healthy Home Environment by Reducing Exposure to Toxic Household Products


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People in this conversation

  • Daniel Goleman spoke about toxic chemicals in everyday products on npr last week One thing he mentioned was organic cotton and that you can't be sure of the dye that's used on it. So even if it's organic, you may still be stuck with chemicals. Here's the link:

    or you can do a search on npr for May 13, 10am, Forum.

    I've definitely noticed a smell on sheets when I first take them out of the pack. I don't know if it's the preservative or the dye, but I always wash my sheets before using them and try to buy better quality sheets that are 100% cotton. I avoid the sheets from discount stores since they tend to smell worse and be rough even when they have a high thread count.

    I almost bought some organic bedding, but noticed a chemical smell when I took them out of the package and decided to not purchase them.

    Good luck.


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