Unfortunately, even after a polyester blanket has made its way through the shop and into your home, the downsides of polyester still exist. Polyester Flag Fabric releases chemicals like phthalates into the air and through contact with the skin. These chemicals have been shown to cause hormone disruption and health issues.
Aside from the harmful chemicals that polyester releases, this fabric also poses some more direct health concerns. Polyester is hydrophobic, meaning it repels water rather than absorbing it. This, paired with its inability to breathe, can lead to uncomfortable sweating and even skin irritation. Polyester bedding (and many a weighted blanket out there) is infamous for leaving us hot and sticky in the night and preventing a good night’s sleep.
As a synthetic fabric, polyester is more likely to cause skin irritation in general. Those with sensitive skin, issues like eczema or psoriasis, or certain allergies may find that polyester-based bedding leaves them itchy and irritable. Our bedding should be the most comfortable, nurturing items in our home – not the source of harmful irritants!
The Dangers Of Polyester For The Health Of The Planet
As a plastic and petroleum-based product, polyester is non-biodegradable and highly toxic to our planet. The manufacturing process itself requires over 70 billion barrels of oil each year and uses twice the amount of energy to produce as cotton. Natural and low-impact dyes do not work on polyester fibers, so harmful chemical dyes are used and later disposed of in our waterways.
Sadly, the detriment to the planet doesn’t stop with production. After we purchase a polyester item, an average of 1,900 tiny plastic fibers are shed with each wash, eventually landing in our oceans. Polyester garments and bedding are believed to be the biggest source of microplastic pollution in our oceans and water systems.
The long-life of polyester fiber is also a major issue that researchers are hoping to find an answer to. An alarming 85% of textile waste in the United States is sent directly to a landfill where these synthetic plastic fabrics will outlive us – by centuries.