Outdoor wear often coated in harmful chemicals: Greenpeace

Oct 29, 2012

Outdoor clothing from top manufacturers is frequently contaminated with chemicals that are harmful to health and the environment, Greenpeace warned Monday.

The environmental group said in a study that the materials that make many clothing items useful in wind, rain and snow are also toxic.

"Images of pristine nature are often used for advertising . But nature does not remain untouched by the chemicals in weather-resistant fabrics," it said.

"All over the world, from secluded mountain lakes and Arctic polar ice to deep in the oceans, traces can be found of perfluorinated and polyfluorinated compounds (PFCs), pollutants with properties that are harmful to the environment and health."

Greenpeace said it had tested 14 rain jackets and rain trousers for women and children from top brands such as Jack Wolfskin, Vaude, North Face, Marmot, Patagonia and Adidas for PFCs and found that each sample was contaminated.

It said that some PFCs were known endocrine disruptors and harmful to the reproductive system.

"Most brand name manufacturers use PFCs so that we stay dry in our outdoor wear, inside and outside," said.

"But these man-made compounds of carbon and fluorine are so stable that they can hardly be removed from the environment, if at all."

The group launched its international Detox campaign in 2011 calling on textile manufacturers to replace used in production with safe alternatives, and on governments to step up regulation.

Explore further: Researchers question emergency water treatment guidelines

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Nike, Adidas suppliers 'polluting China rivers'

Jul 13, 2011

Environmental campaigners on Wednesday accused suppliers to major clothing brands including Adidas and Nike of poisoning China's major rivers with hazardous chemicals linked to hormonal problems.

Recommended for you

European climate at the +2 C global warming threshold

4 hours ago

A global warming of 2 C relative to pre-industrial climate has been considered as a threshold which society should endeavor to remain below, in order to limit the dangerous effects of anthropogenic climate change.

Australia's dirty secret: who's breathing toxic air?

6 hours ago

Australians living in poorer communities, with lower employment and education levels, as well as communities with a high proportion of Indigenous people, are significantly more likely to be exposed to high ...

Predicting bioavailable cadmium levels in soils

Apr 15, 2014

New Zealand's pastoral landscapes are some of the loveliest in the world, but they also contain a hidden threat. Many of the country's pasture soils have become enriched in cadmium. Grasses take up this toxic heavy metal, ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Melting during cooling period

(Phys.org) —A University of Maine research team says stratification of the North Atlantic Ocean contributed to summer warming and glacial melting in Scotland during the period recognized for abrupt cooling ...

Progress in the fight against quantum dissipation

(Phys.org) —Scientists at Yale have confirmed a 50-year-old, previously untested theoretical prediction in physics and improved the energy storage time of a quantum switch by several orders of magnitude. ...