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Greenpeace report links western firms to Chinese river polluters

Author: Jonathan Watts, Guardian [UK], Published on: 13 July 2011

A Chinese conglomerate supplying...leading brands has discharged hormone-disrupting chemicals and other toxins into the country's major water systems, according to a new Greenpeace investigation... [Greenpeace] has also linked hazardous textile plants in the Yangtze and Pearl river deltas to..international fashion brands despite many of those companies' claims to set high environmental standards in their supply chains...The Youngor facility...near Shanghai...was found to have discharged nonylphenol, an endocrine disruptor that builds up in the food chain, perfluorinated chemicals, which can have an adverse effect on the liver and sperm counts, as well as a cocktail of other toxins...Nike, Adidas, Puma, H&M and Lacoste [part of Devanlay] have confirmed a business relationship with Youngor though all denied making use of the plant's wet processes, which are likely to be responsible for the pollution discharges into the Fenghua river. "Adidas does not source fabrics from Youngor Group, which would involve the use of dyestuffs, chemicals and their associated water treatment processes," the company said in a statement. "We continue to engage with Greenpeace and have offered our full support and cooperation... Puma also said its involvement was limited to a non-polluting subsidiary that it regularly audited...H&M said its business partner, Ningbo Youngor Yingchen Uniform, was a discrete legal entity...that did not contribute to discharges into the Fenghua river..."However, we share the general concern about discharges of hazardous chemicals into the environment," H&M said..."We are not accusing...[these companies] of being evil, we are challenging them to take the lead on eliminating toxins," said Li Yifang, who headed the investigation at the Greenpeace China office. ",,,[W]e ask Nike and the others to help phase them out over a reasonable time frame. That would send a signal to the whole industry"...[also refers to Apple, Well Dyeing Factory]

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Related companies: adidas Apple Devanlay SA H&M Lacoste (part of Devanlay) Nike Puma