Clothes manufacturers will be forced to stop selling cloth-bagged, dust-resistant brushes to retailers, as the federal government takes steps to regulate the industry.
The National Clothes and Footwear Council announced the ban Wednesday as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Department of Agriculture (USDA) work on proposals to ban dust- and moisture-resistant products.
Clothing manufacturers, which make most of the most popular synthetic and waterproof fabrics, will be required to stop making them, as a step to make them safer and more resistant to the dust and moisture of the outdoors, the councils said in a statement.
The ban applies to “all cloth-bag, dust, water, and synthetic products.”
The ban applies only to cloth-bags and not to other products, such as socks, towels and underwear.
“Clothing makers should be held accountable for what they do with their products and for not doing it in a way that is safe, responsible, and environmentally sustainable,” said Matt Ragan, the council’s chief executive.
“This ban will help protect people and the environment while keeping the industry in business.”
The council said the ban would help stop the industry from dumping hundreds of thousands of tons of dust into the environment each year.
The U.K.-based International Trade Association (ITA) said the move was an “overreaction” that would put the consumer at risk.
It urged the government to work with retailers and manufacturers to find ways to limit the use of cloth bags.
The industry has been working for years on ways to prevent dust from getting into the clothing and fabric industries.
Companies have come up with a variety of solutions, including sealing off bags and making cloth-based products with less waste and less plastic.
The US Food and Drugs Administration (FPO) last year released a proposal to ban all new synthetic fabrics and synthetic fabrics containing microbeads.
The agency is also looking at a ban on synthetic fabrics with polyester and polyester blends.
The new ban would take effect Jan. 1.
The move comes as the Food and Wine Institute and other trade groups are calling for a ban.
In a statement, the industry said it welcomed the government’s move to ensure that cloth-bound products are treated and safe for consumers.
“We hope this will be a sign of good faith that the FTC is serious about addressing the environmental and safety concerns that many manufacturers are raising,” said Mark Luszczyn, the group’s president.
“As long as the industry continues to make products that do not meet the highest standards for cleanliness, consumers will continue to be at risk.”