I love cotton! I love cotton sheets, looking at fields of cotton, the crisp, clean feel- you know; as the jingle goes "the look, the feel of cotton". But like many other things, becoming informed makes all the difference. I still love cotton, but I will be looking for organic cotton a little harder now. As with anything use your own judgement. We can't live in bubbles, but we can make wise decisions which can make our lives and environment healthier.
Here is the scoop on Cotton:
Cotton covers 2.5% of the world’s cultivated land
It accounts for 24% of the world’s insecticide market
Accounts for 11% of sale of global pesticides
This is $2.6 billion worth of pesticides making it the most pesticide-intensive crop grown on the planet
The World Health Organization has determined, three of the most acutely hazardous insecticides to human health rank in the top ten most commonly used in cotton production
These pesticides pesticides wash into the soil and into rivers and streams, where they pollute waterways and damage fragile ecosystems
Organic cotton is GMO free
Genetically engineered (also called genetically modified or GM) cotton is currently grown on 25 million hectares around the world
In many countries farmers reported that animals who grazed in cleared cotton fields on crop debris fell sick or died
Many GMO cotton plants have prevented one type of pest while others increased causing the need for more pesticides rather than a reduction
In some areas, such as North Carolina, when it is time for crops to be sprayed the neighboring towns suffer from watery eyes, headaches, nausea and dizziness. It has become known as "Cotton Flu"
With this in mind I am looking at things like cotton balls, feminine products, diaper inserts etc. differently. As a rule, I feel like I have a better chance with my clothes and linens because I launder them in non-toxic laundry detergent, but what about my face or other delicate places? I use skin care products that protect my skin and neutralizes free radical reactions, do I want to apply it with a cotton ball that may have residue from pesticides? Even worse think of a diaper insert against your baby's delicate places or for you ladies what about your delicate places? It is enough to make me choose organic when I can.
Look for organic cotton fabrics, cotton balls, feminine products etc. and if you make inhalers with essential oils consider using organic inserts as a safer alternative. Small changes can make big differences!
Enjoy the look and feel, but choose wisely!