Read the full article by Grace van Deelen (Environmental Health News)

“PFAS are finding their way into ‘green’ and ‘nontoxic’ products, especially waterproof products marketed toward children and adolescents, according to new research.

The new study, published today in Environmental Science & Technology, shows that some children’s products with ‘green’ or ‘nontoxic’ labeling contain PFAS, which stands for per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances—a group of toxic chemicals used in many consumer and industrial products. Exposure to these chemicals has been linked to health problems such as certain types of cancer, reproductive issues, and birth defects. The findings, the researchers said, point to the need for better understanding of how PFAS make their way into products, and more regulation to protect consumers.

The researchers tested 93 items marketed to or often used by children and adolescents, including clothing, face masks, mattress protectors, rugs, sheets, and upholstery. They detected fluorine, a PFAS indicator, in 54 of the 93 products. The 54 products shown to contain fluorine were then tested for specific PFAS chemicals.

‘I was surprised to see how frequently PFAS showed up in a wide range of different consumer products,’ Laurel Schaider, an author on the study and the lead PFAS researcher at the Silent Spring Institute, an independent, nonprofit research organization, told EHN.

The paper aimed to illustrate PFAS trends among products marketed as water- or stain-resistant, as well as those with and without ‘green’ labeling or green certifications—third-party assurances that convey to the consumer that the product satisfies certain criteria for chemical safety. At least one item in every product category contained fluorine, while water- and stain-resistant products were most frequently found to contain evidence of PFAS.

…Waterproof or stain-resistant products labeled with ‘green’ language, such as ‘nontoxic’ or ‘eco-friendly,’ as well as products with green certifications, were found to have similar concentrations of fluorine, a PFAS indicator, to waterproof or stain-resistant products without ‘green’ labeling. Some waterproof products with the green certifications Greenguard Gold and Oeko-Tex Standard 100, two certifications designed to reduce chemical risks to human health, were shown to contain evidence of PFAS.”…