What are the environmental impacts of spandex?
Unlike conventional synthetic fibers such as nylon and polyester, spandex is not derived from fossil fuel but utilises certain chemicals such as macroglycol and diisocyanate monomer which are processed in the laboratory. However, a lot of energy and power is consumed during their manufacturing. Additionally, spandex consists of polyurethane which is regarded as carcinogenic and might affect the health of the workers.
Another point to highlight is that washing of spandex produces tiny fiber balls which enter the water system thus affecting marine life and drinking water. Also being non-biodegradable fiber spandex remains in the biosphere for quite a time and gets deposited in the landfill with no notable method that could convert the spandex waste to a biodegradable material.