FYI / Health / Uncategorized / What's Going on in the Gulf?

Carcinogens Found in Some Abayas

I thought I’d share this with you since many of our garments come from companies in Dubai.

Allaahu Aa’lam.


Carcinogens Found in Some Abayas

By Nina Muslim, Staff Reporter


Dubai: Some abayas and shailahs on the market have been found to contain high-levels of cancer-causing properties, Gulf News has learnt.

These items of clothing constitute traditional female dress.

An ongoing study at the Dubai Central Laboratory (DCL) on abayas, the traditional black robe, and shailahs, the scarf that covers the head, as well as other apparel, found heavy metals and carcinogens in the dyes and chemicals used to help prints adhere to the material.

Sofia Kazim, a lab technician at DCL, told Gulf News that the laboratory has been testing dozens of materials for carcinogenic elements in the dyes and chemicals.

“We did the project on abayas and shailahs and some failed the test in February,” she said.


She said the laboratory tested 18 pieces of shailahs and a number of abayas. All pieces were selected randomly and are available on the market.

The laboratory tested the materials by putting them through the same environmental conditions as they would be exposed to if worn by a person. They also tested how the chemicals would be absorbed by the body.

“We found some have heavy metals that are over the limit, especially the type of shailahs worn by older women, which has a cottony feel to it,” Sofia said.

She also said not all abayas and shailahs available in the market were carcinogenic, as the tests also found several that were safe and within the limits.

Dr Sawsan Al Mahdi, President of the Friends of Cancer Patients Society, was intrigued by the findings.

“It’s very interesting. We’ve always educated people on what to eat, to exercise, to stop smoking, but we’ve never considered what we wear,” she said.

It is unclear what the authorities will do with the findings.

Dr Fareed Khalifa, head of oncology at Dubai Hospital, told Gulf News the UAE did not have laws addressing hazardous chemicals used in textiles.

Certain synthetic dyes pose cancer risk

Some synthetic dyes have been linked to cancer, including testicular and bladder cancer, and leukaemia.

The World Health Organisation has listed several dyes used in the textile industry as carcinogenic, including any dyes with a benzidine base, including Direct Blue 6, Direct Black 38 and Direct Brown 95, which have been banned in the US and the EU. More than 1,000 dyes are on the list, ranging from “definite” to “probable” to “unlikely carcinogen”.

Is there a lack of public awareness on carcinogens present in items of everyday use? What precautions do you take to reduce the presence of carcinogenic materials around you?

Gulf News

8 thoughts on “Carcinogens Found in Some Abayas

  1. as salamu alaikum even though this is very important to know about FABRICS, the kufar will use it to tell use to take off our clothes.

  2. Yeah I agree with Umm Abdul Jaleel to some extent. Also, you never know who had them manufactured to begin with….Muslims?……..non Muslims perhaps?? And when they were manufactured, was it known that the chemeicals posed cancer risks? Subhanallah, war against us through our clothes even.

  3. Subhanallah, why does everything have to be a plot of the kuffar? Maybe this is a wake up call for the Muslims and/or their clothing suppliers to get their houses in order to produce safe clothing for us to wear. I didn’t see any mention (even subtly) where it was implied that the women should remove their hijab because of this.

  4. Diversity offers opportunities. A Saudi textile company should take advantage of this and produce textiles for clothing with a quality assurance that the community can be sure is safe for their family’s health.

    It’s a lot to ask for, but possible I think.

    I also think we are worth it.

    I wonder if there are any tests the consumers can conduct to discover the content of their clothing and household fabrics?

  5. This does not surprise me. So many abaya manufacturers show that they dont have the Muslimahs best interest at heart. They make abayas without a concern about tabarruj making the clothing form fitting and flashy, or making them of such thick heavy fabric wearing them is oppressive. I dream of a day where we can easily fine abayas made of organic natural fabric. The kuffar have this issue too, even if its cotton if its not organically grown with natural dyes its tearing up your skin.

  6. one more comment :)
    yes there is a huge lack of awareness of carcinogens in everday use, especially around the home. once you start taking on the task of detoxing your home you will be amazed things you thought were benefiting you are really not: paraffin candles, cleaners, deodorizing sprays, etc. The precautions I have taken inshaallah will continue is to replace these things with natural items.
    jazak Allahu Khair for the good article ukhti

  7. As Salaamu Alaiykum,
    It seems that everything causes cancer. From what we eat to what we wear and even our cleaning products. If Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) has decreed for us to have cancer than this is his decree. I don’t sweat the small stuff because I would be in a state of confusion worrying about all of my surrounding that have been found to cause cancer. Just eat healthy; make dua’ and try to be obedient to Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). Thanks for the article sister. It is good to be aware anyway.

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