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Delta workers file lawsuit alleging uniforms caused them health issues

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Posted at 8:28 AM, Jan 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-03 08:58:39-05

(WXYZ) — More than 500 Delta workers have filed a class action lawsuit against Lands' End, the company that makes Delta's uniforms, alleging the uniforms are causing them health issues.

According to the lawsuit, the employees including flight attendants and gate agents, have been required to wear the uniforms since May 29, 2018. They allege that Lands' End used several chemical additives and finishes to help make the uniforms "high stretch, wrinkle and stain-resistant, waterproof, anti-static and deodorizing."

Since the uniforms were introduced, the plaintiffs allege they have suffered several health problems, including respiratory distress, vocal chord dysfunction, skin blisters and rashes, blurred vision, dry eyes, nosebleeds, migraines and more.

The lawsuit says the uniforms "pose an ongoing, unreasonable risks of physical harm" to the workers.

There are more than two dozen people from Michigan who are involved in the suit. In one case, a woman from Dearborn alleges that the uniforms made her sick with symptoms that include "vocal cord dysfunction, breathing difficulties, shortness of breath, coughing, skin rashing, bruising, headaches, fatigue and anxiety."

According to the lawsuit, the plaintiffs conducted their own testing of samples of the uniforms. The tests found the "presence of chemicals and heavy metals for in excess of industry-accepted safe levels for garments." Those chemicals and heavy metals included: Chromium, antimony, Mercury, Formaldehyde, flourine and bromine.

The lawsuit also alleges that Lands' End was aware of other health problems that were experienced by flight attendants at Alaska Airlines and American Airlines caused by their uniforms.

Delta told Business Insider, which first broke the story, that the uniforms met top textile standards in all but one component.

"Our top priority continues to be the safety of our employees, which is why we invested in a rigorous toxicology study to determine if there was a universal scientific issue with the uniform," a Delta spokesperson told Business Insider. "The results of the study confirm our uniforms meet the highest textile standards — OEKO-TEX — with the exception of the optional flight attendant apron, which we removed from the collection."

The website reports that Lands' End declined to comment.