Regular and prolonged use of plastic and rubber slippers or flip-flops is harmful to the health of the individuals. Such type of footwear remains in constant contact with the skin which leads to an array of harmful diseases. Recently a prominent footwear company of Britain ‘Primark’ recalled its plastic slippers which were found to contain a chemical which causes cancer. A report by Shivam Agnihotri of the2is.com:

Various researchers have concluded that footwear made of plastic or rubber contains chemicals which harmful for the skin and can cause various dangerous ailments. Staphylococcus bacteria present in rubber footwear causes serious health problems and if left untreated can also lead to cancer.

No Set Standard for the Plastic used in the Footwear

India has no set standards for the material used in the manufacturing of footwear. The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has formulated standards for school and safety footwear. But baring this, no standards have been set. This has resulted in rampant manufacture of footwear made of re-cycled plastic/rubber and latex and by substandard materials. Chemicals contained in such material and used during production process become the major cause of skin ailments in the consumers. Apart from locally manufactured footwear, a large amount of Chinese imports have flooded the market.



Plastic Slippers

Shoes in Aminabad, a shop for slippers

Plastic Slippers contain such Harmful Chemicals

  • Thalates– It is used to make Polyvinyl chloride (PVC). This is for flexibility in plastic. This chemical causes serious effects on human health.
  • DHP– China made plastic slippers contain about 8.6% of DHP which is quite harmful to the skin.
  • PAH- Harmful aromatic carcinogenic polyvinyl hydrocarbons (PAH) called benzaparin is present in various sandals.

Slippers made with such chemicals can cause damage to various body organs.



A Word with the Doctors

  • Lucknow based Dermatologist Dr. Pramod Aggarwal says that constant use of plastic slippers causes rashes, swelling, itching, pain. Cheap slippers are particularly harmful and they are mostly imported from China.
  • Lucknow based Ajay Kumar advice, people, to use plastic slippers with extreme caution. They have proven to cause various skin aliments.
  • Lucknow based Ratan Kumar Singh says that various kinds of bacteria flourish in slippers which are harmful to the skin. Rubber sandals cannot soak the excess amount of water which ultimately leads to breading of bacteria and can prove to be life threatening.