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A XING ANILINE? NOT SO FAST. Banning the chemical aniline could turn the world’s favorite fabric into its most expensive fabric. w ords_____ JASM I N M ALI K CH UA


niline is a problem for the denim industry. Or it isn’t. It depends on whom you ask. Certainly the chemical, a building block for synthetic indigo, is the cause of some concern for Archroma, a Swiss specialty chemicals firm that debuted a so-called “aniline-free” indigo dye, which boasts undetectable levels of the agent, in May. But is it so bad? The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency classifies aniline as a Group B2 human carcinogen, which means that while there’s some evidence it might cause cancer in people, the existing data is far from conclusive. Aniline can pose other risks, however. It can cause skin allergies with repeated contact. And both short-term and chronic exposure to the chemical, either through the lungs or the skin, can impair the ability of red blood cells to ferry oxygen RIVET NO.6 / OCTOBER 2018

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