The hidden costs of forever chemicals in stain- and water-resistant products
Toxic-Free Future published Toxic Convenience: The hidden costs of forever chemicals in stain- and water-resistant products on January 26, 2022. The study found toxic chemicals in most products labeled stain- or water-resistant, with 72% testing positive for PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances). Items that were found to contain PFAS “forever chemicals” include rain jackets, hiking pants, mattress pads, comforters, napkins, and tablecloths. The report also reveals that PFAS-free products are available in each of the three main product categories studied, proving that alternatives are in use.
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From the Experts
“I am really excited to know that there are alternatives to PFAS as this huge class of synthetic chemicals pollutes all of us and is associated with a host of adverse health effects such as elevated cholesterol, kidney cancer, and immune suppression.”
Linda S. Birnbaum, Ph.D., D.A.B.T., A.T.S.
Scientist Emeritus and Former Director, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and National Toxicology Program Scholar in Residence, Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University
“Rain jackets shouldn’t cause cancer—but for some of us, that just might be the case. These companies sold a convenience product to consumers without fully disclosing the toxic trade-off. In my region of North Carolina, our drinking water has been severely contaminated from the manufacture of PFAS chemicals. No one’s drinking water should be contaminated for a rain jacket.”
Co-founder of Clean Cape Fear
“PFAS contamination of the Arctic poses a particular threat to the health of Indigenous peoples who are reliant on traditional foods as essential to their physical, spiritual, and cultural sustenance. It is time to stop this terrible injustice, hold manufacturers accountable, and urgently establish national and international bans for the entire class of PFAS.”
Executive director of Alaska Community Action on Toxics and co-chair of the International Pollutants Elimination Network (IPEN)