Like your jeans with a worn-in look? I’ve got some bad news. If you’re buying new jeans that have been given an artificially worn look, you could be buying a product linked to lung disease.

How? A new study published in Environmental Health found that workers in Turkey sandblasting jeans often developed a lung disease called silicosis — an irreversible, incurable disease that can be fatal. Even worse, these workers were only an average of 26 years old. According to ScienceNews, which reported on the study, “The workers had routinely faced heavy exposure to airborne silica for long periods in the absence of good ventilation or filtering masks.

Now, previous studies have linked sandblasting work to silicosis — but this latest study from Turkey draws an even more dire correlation. Out of 60 sandblasters working at Istanbul denim factories studied, 44 were diagnosed as having an accelerated form of silicosis.

What’s an eco-fashionista to do? Stop buying new jeans that have been tortured into looking artificially old. Instead, stop by your favorite second-hand store to pick up a pair of pre-loved jeans. I love the broken-in feel of the used jeans I got at Crossroads Trading — as well as the knowledge that I saved a lot of money by my eco-shopping ways.

Distressed jeans and lung disease
A new study finds that workers in Turkey who sandblast jeans to give them that faux-worn look are quite likely to develop an incurable lung disease.