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Exposure to dust is a serious health hazard for workers in the garment industry. This is especially true for those working with abrasive blasting of garments. Workers exposed to crystalline silica (sand) through abrasive blasting of garments like jeans are at great risk of contracting silicosis, a deadly lung disease. The connection between silicosis and sandblasting of jeans is well-documented.
Given the fatal risk associated with abrasive blasting and sandblasting in particular, and the challenges of controlling a supply chain in such a way as to guarantee that no unsafe abrasive blasting is done, FWF requires affiliates to ban all abrasive blasting throughout their supply chain. The use of sandblasting – techniques which use more than 1% of crystalline silica – while all other use of abrasive blasting should be phased out.
For more details on the steps required by FWF of its affiliates, download our guidance document on abrasive blasting here.