DETOX CAMPAIGN
Sounding the Alarm on PFCs

Since the beginning of its Detox campaign in 2011,
Greenpeace has been calling on the clothing industry to eliminate all hazardous chemicals from its supply chain by 2020,
highlighting per- and polyfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) as one of the priority hazardous chemical groups to eliminate.

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[ Extract from : https://www.youtube.com/user/GreenpeaceVideo ]

PFCs are used in many industrial processes and consumer products,
and are well known for their use by the outdoor apparel industry in waterproof and water-repellent finishes.
Greenpeace put the spotlighton the outdoor industry,PFCs are routinely Used in outdoor clothing, footwear and other equipment.
Many outdoor brands use PFCs for their waterproofing and dirt resistant properties,
both in Durable Water Repellent (DWR) coatings on the outer layer and in waterproof membranes.

Volatile PFCs such as FTOH, used in the production of textiles and which remain as residues in the clothes,
are known to be released from products into the surrounding air and can be expected to be released from manufacturing
facilities where the products are made. Greenpeace also found PFC contamination far from the original source of their release,
in secluded mountain lakes and snow from three continents, and documented the historic and ongoing contamination of water,
air and dust in four locations near PFC manufacturing facilities around the world.

Potential Health Effect PFCsaffect the Hormone & Immune system by
build up and remain in Human Body in Lifetime

PFCs are environmentally hazardous substances, which are persistent in the environment.Many PFCs,
especially ionic PFCs such as the long chained PFOS and PFOA, are highly persistent and do not readily break down
once released to the environment, which has led to their presence throughout ecosystems, even in remote regions.
Studies show that some PFCs can accumulate in living organisms such as the livers of polar bears in the Arctic and
are also detected in human blood. Animal studiesprovide evidence that some PFCs cause harm to reproduction,
promote the growth of tumours and affect the hormone and Immune system

Volatile FTOHs can be transformed into ionic PFCs in the body or in the atmosphere and can also be hazardous in their own right.In the environment or after intake into the human body volatile PFCs such as FTOHs can be degraded to corresponding ionic PFCs. For example, 8:2 FTOH can degrade to PFOA, a toxic and carcinogenic substance which is classified as a substance of very high concern (SVHC) under the EU’s REACH regulation.
Play Video

[ Extract from : Extract from : http://detox-outdoor.org/en/about-pfc/ ]

PFCs are used in many industrial processes and consumer products,
and are well known for their use by the outdoor apparel industry in waterproof and water-repellent finishes.
Greenpeace put the spotlighton the outdoor industry,PFCs are routinely Used in outdoor clothing, footwear and other equipment.
Many outdoor brands use PFCs for their waterproofing and dirt resistant properties,
both in Durable Water Repellent (DWR) coatings on the outer layer and in waterproof membranes.

Play Video
Findings of air testing in outdoor stores

A recent investigation by Greenpeace has found hazardous poly-fluorinated chemicals (PFCs1) in the indoor air of stores selling outdoor gear in Europe and East Asia.

The results from the investigations show significantly higher concentrations of certain PFCs in the indoor air of stores selling outdoor gear compared to the air from offices or clothing stores not selling outdoor products. PFCs in significant concentrations were found in the flagship stores of all companies Samples were taken in the flagship stores of the brands Mammut, The North Face, Norrona and Haglöfs and in non-branded outdoor stores.

The results show that concentrations of PFCs in the air in outdoor stores in Europe were 20 to 60 times higher than air samples collected in Greenpeace’s office and storage rooms in Hamburg and up to 1000 times higher than urban outdoor air;2 concentrations of PFCs in outdoor stores in Taiwan were in the same range as those in Europe. PFCs in significant concentrations were found in the flagship stores of all companies.

An increase in products free from hazardous PFCs

Many outdoor brands use PFCs for their waterproofing and dirt resistant properties, both in Durable Water Repellent (DWR) coatings.

However, outdoor brands are increasingly using PFC-free alternatives.
Smaller outdoor brands such as Paramo, Pyua, Rotauf, Fjällräven, R’ADYS and Dannah have led the way, and are among the first brands to have entire collections of functional weatherproof clothing that are PFC-free.

So far, no other major outdoor brands have committed to Detox, as detailed on Greenpeace’s Detox Outdoor website13 and in Table 1 (in the Annex); although many have public statements and plan to eliminate PFCs these are mostly limited to apparel only or it’s unclear whether membranes are included.

Figure 1 show the progress being made by these major brands in comparison to the smaller outdoor brands.

PFC - free innovations - the growth of alternative technologies

Since Greenpeace released its report “Chemistry for any weather” 23 in 2012 therehas been a dramatic increase in the
number of alternative technologies that do not use PFCs available on the market, both for membranes and for DWR finishes.
This shows a big increase in the number of technologies released on the market in 2015 and 2016.Many of
these suppliers are also working to increase the sustainability and environmental performance
of these technologies on many levels, including: the use of renewable technology

It’s time to act. It’s time to Detox!

While many major brands have still not taken responsibility for eliminating hazardous PFCs in all of their products,
the commitment by Gore, the major supplier of PFC waterproofing technology, is set to transform the sector in the longer term so that ultimately,
hazardous PFCs will no longer be used in outdoor products. The progress so far towards technologies free from
hazardous PFCs – though not yet complete – shows that transforming a sector can be achieved in a relatively short time,
if the relevant stakeholders are willing to act together responsibly. Consumer demand has driven the need for brands to find alternatives and
spurred the rapid development of PFC-free technologies by suppliers

As global players, outdoor companies such as The North Face, Mammut, Haglöfs,
Norrona and other companies have an opportunity and the responsibility to improve manufacturing practices in their supply chains.

These companies are prominent users of PFCs and need to take the lead on the elimination of all PFCs;
this will send an important signal to the chemical industry and other innovators to increase their efforts on the
further development of non-hazardous alternatives.