The Australian Health Department’s National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme is asking for a ban on clothing with hazardous azo dyes from sale in Australia, prompted after a report by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission advised a restriction on the importation of hazardous dyed clothing and textiles, as no laws currently exist.

Companies within the industry, such as Rivers Australia, Just Jeans, and bedding retailer Pillow Talk, have recalled items containing azo dyes, some of which are known to break down into carcinogenic chemicals.

Australian international supply chain management consultant Paula Rogers said Australia’s chemical laws were “pathetic”, and despite Australian officials recognising the risk of these dyes and with these dyes being banned throughout Europe, Australia is still yet to take action against its importation.

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