“A study conducted by the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, a trinational organization created by Canada, Mexico and the US, has examined 137 articles of clothing and apparel for the presence of PFAS substances.

PFASs (per- and polyfluorinated substances) are used in a wide range of consumer products for their heat, water and oil resistant properties. According to the US EPA, the group of compounds are persistent, resist degradation in the environment and bioaccumulate.

‘The degree to which they can migrate out of apparel and contact the skin or saliva of the wearer, or enter the environment, can be a concern,’ the study says.

It was undertaken because, although environmental monitoring data is available, only limited information exists on the substances’ presence and trends in consumer products, including children’s items.

Consequently, last summer, the CEC, established under the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC), analysed articles of clothing and performance apparel, including children’s items, purchased from 27 cities across North America.

Targeting 31 PFAS compounds, it found that 97 articles, or 68.6%, showed positive results for at least one.

Of the articles tested, outdoor jackets presented the highest number of ‘positive hits’. The most frequently detected compounds were perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, (45%) and PFHxA (43%). But low concentrations of PFOS were also found, which the study says may ‘confirm improvements in the implementation of PFAS regulations in various sectors’.”

Read the full article by Leigh Stringer