Date of Graduation

Winter 12-15-2023

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


School of Nursing and Health Professions


Public Health

First Advisor

Dr. Zahra Goliaei


The fashion industry is one of the largest polluting industries in the world and its rising environmental impact is partly due to the dominance of fast fashion business models. Recently researchers and advocates have found that large amounts of chemicals are used by textile manufacturers to produce clothing, some proven to be toxic in other applications. The risk of exposure to these classes of chemicals is a growing concern. With the risk management model, a qualitative examination was conducted on existing policies in the United States that regulate chemicals used by the industry. Despite some policy changes regarding chemical exposure in clothing, the burden of proof to determine if a chemical poses a health or environmental risk remains on the EPA. Real reform should shift the burden of proof onto chemical manufacturers, require chemicals to have safety information to enter and remain in the market, shift away from case-by-case hazard assessments, and provide a label that informs consumers of more sustainable products. This review contains recommendations to address gaps in the regulation of chemical in clothing that may prevent further injury to human health and environmental harm from the unreasonable risk. The findings of this study can guide policymakers to develop and implement stronger protections against chemicals that pose serious health risks.