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You may love them or you may hate them. But one thing that everyone agrees too is that you cannot remain indifferent to the crocs like sandals and shoes that have flooded the market ever since their launch in 2002.
While children love them for their bright and vibrant colors, adults love them for their comfort and easy maintenance. They also have their critiques in equal measure. Fashion police has always slammed them because of their casual look and loose fit. And yet, they continue to be as popular as ever.
But time and again, questions have been raised about its safety.
The report has again stoked a debate on whether one should continue to keep wearing the clogs for their comfort or should completely do away with them for our own good.
The research was carried out by WDR, Cologne based German Broadcaster Company, for its consumers. The company sent 10 pairs of plastic clogs, from reputed companies, to the laboratory for testing. The laboratory was asked to look for the presence of solvents, heavy metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the plastic material used for manufacturing the clogs.
PAHs are highly carcinogenic substances which if absorbed can cause mutations in the cells. They are often used as softeners during manufacturing of shoes in the footwear industry. PAHs are predominantly present in black colored plastics though they may be present in plastics of other colors too. They generally produce their ill-effects after inhalation but they are also prone to be absorbed through skin. The researchers were surprised to note that PAHs were present in six of the 10 samples tested. Their content was especially high in clogs which were black in color. It was even present in black straps and black buttons.
The heavy metals present in clogs, like chrome, lead and cadmium, are not absorbed through the skin. However, once the clogs are disposed, these heavy metals leak into the environment and poison it.
The solvents present in the footwear are absorbed through the skin. According to German authorities, solvents are classified as allergens and skin irritants. Ideally, they should completely degrade during the production process. However, because there are no set standards for the production processes, these solvents do not degrade completely and end up in the footwear.
Of the 10 pair of clogs tested, seven contained both heavy metals and solvents.