The Gore-Tex manufacturer announces the availability of a new PFAS-free membrane but is still using Forever Chemicals to make its outdoor apparel and equipment
Health advocates are calling for a ban on PFAS âforever chemicalsâ in products
Seattle, WA – Gore, the maker of GORE-TEX., Has made waterproof outdoor materials using PFAS chemicals for decadesÂ®, today announced one step away from these chemicals. Gore will offer a new option for the main membrane waterproofing in its outdoor consumer apparel products. The new membrane is manufactured without PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances), but GORE-TEXÂ® Items usually have a second impregnation, a surface coating made from PFAS known as Durable Water Repellent (DWR). The first products using this new PFAS-free membrane will be available in late 2022. Gore’s new membrane technology, called ePE, is an alternative to the company’s ePTFE membrane, which is made from PFAS, also known as Forever Chemicals. TEX. to eliminateÂ® or in DWR treatments used on GORE-TEX products.
“Although a step in the right direction, it is nowhere near enough” said Mike Schade, director of Mind the Store, a Toxic-Free Future program. âWithout the obligation to ban PFAS as a class in all of its products, Gore will continue to contribute to PFAS pollution. Big brands and retailers need to act quickly to reduce and eliminate all PFAS, including membranes and surface coatings, in outdoor apparel and other textiles. There’s no reason companies like REI and Dick’s Sporting Goods should keep selling products made with chemicals that contaminate communities and the environment around the world. “
“We have known for years that PFAS is not needed for our rainwear, and now the new Gore product offers another alternative for businesses.” said Laurie Valeriano, General Manager of Toxic-Free Future. âThe increasing contamination of humans and breast milk from the use of these chemicals in our clothing and other products must end. We urge governments to ban the widespread use of PFAS, beginning in Washington State and ending in Washington DC. “
Chemical companies sell PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) for application to paper and textiles as dirt-repellent, water-repellent and grease-repellent treatments. A growing body of Scientific Research has found links between exposure to PFAS and a variety of health problems, including a weaker immune system, cancer, elevated cholesterol, pregnancy-related high blood pressure, liver damage, decreased fertility, and an increased risk of thyroid disease. PFAS are often referred to as “forever” chemicals because they do not degrade in the environment and can easily get into drinking water through the soil. With remarkable endurance and mobility, PFAS have become global pollutants threatening human and wildlife health. A recent peer review to learn from Toxic-Free Future found PFAS in 100% of the breast milk samples tested and that newer PFAS are being built in humans.
State governments are taking legislative and regulatory measures to phase out PFAS in products to prevent contamination in favor of safer alternatives. For example, laws in ME and WA have given state agencies the power to ban PFAS in a variety of products. CT, ME, MN, NY, VT and WA have decided to phase out PFAS in food packaging. VT and ME passed bans on PFAS in carpets, rugs and after-treatments, and regulatory measures are pending in CA and WA for these products and other home textiles (e.g. upholstery, bedding). CO, CA, CT, NY, NH, ME and WA have banned the sale of extinguishing foam containing PFAS.
Federal laws protecting communities and banning PFAS in several product areas have been or are expected to be in place.
According to the annual Dealer certificate published by Toxic-Free Future’s Mind the Store program.
Poison-free future (TFF) is a nonprofit research and advocacy organization promoting the use of safer products, chemicals, and practices through science, organization, advocacy, and consumer engagement to ensure a healthier future. Safer Chemicals Healthy Families is a Toxic-Free Future program dedicated to realizing strong federal policies to protect the public from toxic chemicals. Pay attention to the shop is a Toxic Free Future program that encourages retailers to eliminate toxic chemicals and replace them with safer alternatives, and annually evaluates large retailers on their safer chemical guidelines Dealer certificate.
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