WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA) -- It's a little known fact many consumers don't think about when they shop for the latest fashions.
But, the clothing industry uses an outstanding 8,000 synthetic chemicals to make the clothes you wear.
So, if you suddenly develop a mysterious rash or severe itch after you put on that new pair of pants, it could be a sign of an allergic reaction.
Our WUSA 9 Call For Action partner Shirley Rooker shares some helpful hints that to tell whether you could be allergic to your clothes.
Shirley says, "I discovered I had a problem when I wore a new pair of jeans. I washed them before wearing, but after one day of use, I developed a severe case of contact dermatitis that required a doctor's attention."
She says it was the first she had ever had an issue with new clothing. And after doing a little research, she found that many new garments have an array of chemical additives.
For example, the label permanent press, no iron or wrinkle resistant usually indicates that chemicals have been added to the garment.
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"In fact, formaldehyde is a common additive to fabrics. Some countries restrict the amount that can be put in clothes, but not the U.S. China seems to be one of the worst offenders in the use of this product, "Rooker says.
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She adds that it's hard to avoid chemicals used in the manufacturing of fabrics.
There are some steps you take to reduce the onset of an allergic reaction to your clothes.
Try to the garment on
Make sure it fits
Wash it, not once, but several times before you wear the item
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"Manufacturers are not required to list chemical additives to fabrics so it is difficult to know for certain what has been added to new garments.