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TORONTO – New research has found that clothing from fast fashion retailers Shein, AliExpress and Zaful contain elevated levels of potentially hazardous chemicals.  

The University of Toronto, commissioned by Marketplace, was tasked with evaluating 38 samples of adult’s and children’s clothing and accessories with the view to understanding the levels of chemicals – including lead, PFAS and phthalates – in their make-up.

Having found that one particular Shein jacket for toddlers contained almost 20 times more lead that what Health Canada deems safe for children, Miriam Diamond – a chemist and environmental professor at the University of Toronto – said: “People should be shocked. This is hazardous waste.” 

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