Read the full article from Mike Schade (Safer Chemicals Healthy Families and Toxic-Free Future)

“Today a group of more than 100 local, state, and national organizations sent a letter to REI’s CEO Eric Artz calling on the company to lead the outdoor apparel industry in a bold transition away from the entire class of toxic PFAS ‘forever chemicals.’ PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are often used for water-repellent, stain-resistant, and grease-proofing treatments on textiles like outdoor gear. 

The letter states: 

‘This holiday season we are asking you to give your customers the gift of a PFAS-free future… When REI members and customers buy presents for their friends and family from REI this holiday season, they expect the products to be safe, not laden with chemicals that are leaving a toxic trail of pollution around the world.

The letter was signed by:

  • National environmental and consumer advocacy organizations such as Clean Water Action, Consumer Reports, Earthjustice, Friends of the Earth, Green America, Greenpeace USA, League of Conservation Voters, NRDC, ParentsTogether, Safer States, Safer Chemicals Healthy Families, and U.S. PIRG; 
  • Organizations based in REI’s home state of Washington including Earth Ministry/Washington Interfaith Power & Light, Environment Washington, Puget Soundkeeper Alliance, RE Sources, Toxic-Free Future, Washington Environmental Council, Washington Conservation Voters, and WashPIRG;
  • Grassroots groups representing communities impacted by PFAS pollution including Clean Cape Fear, Concerned Citizens of WMEL Water Authority, and Merrimack Citizens for Clean Water; 
  • National public health groups committed to preventing harm from toxic chemicals such as the Alliance of Nurses for a Healthy Environment, Breast Cancer Action, and Learning Disabilities Association of America; and
  • State-based groups fighting for strong state regulation of PFAS such as Alaska Community Action on Toxics, Clean and Healthy New York, Defend Our Health, North Carolina Conservation Network, and Vermont Public Interest Research Group.

A growing body of scientific research has found links between exposures to PFAS and a wide range of health problems including cancer, a weaker immune system, and increased risk of thyroid disease. PFAS are often referred to as ‘forever’ chemicals because they are not known to break down in the environment and persist for generations to come.

You can read the full letter to REI here (and at the bottom of this post).”…