Read the full article by Stephanie Stohler (Toxic-Free Future)

“Outdoor athletic retailer Dick’s Sporting Goods quietly announced it will ban PFAS ‘forever chemicals’ in its own-brand textile products. This action was part of a major update to its Restricted Substance List (RSL) created in March. The company is one of the largest sporting retailers in the nation, operating more than 850 stores and, as of 2022, earning $12.37 billion in sales.

This commitment follows mounting public pressure and new state bans on PFAS. A 2022 study by Toxic-Free Future that found PFAS in jackets and other textiles sold at Dick’s Sporting Goods and other retailers was the basis for a nationwide campaign challenging retailers like REI to stop using PFAS. That campaign, led by Toxic-Free Future’s Mind the Store program in partnership with Safer States allies and other organizations, held public actions across the U.S. demanding action. REI announced a ban on PFAS in February, one month prior to Dick’s Sporting Goods’ new commitment. In 2022, California and New York passed legislation to restrict PFAS in apparel and other textiles.

The production and disposal of PFAS have polluted communities and contaminated the drinking water of millions of U.S. residents across the U.S., including at Daikin’s PFAS facility in Decatur, AL and Chemours’ PFAS plant in Fayetteville, NC, to name a few.

In response to Dicks Sporting Goods’ new policy, the following statements were made:

‘Dick’s Sporting Goods has taken critical action by saying no to dangerous PFAS chemicals in its own-brand textiles,’ said Mike Schade, director of Mind the Store, a program of Toxic-Free Future. ‘When our testing found these dangerous chemicals in their products last year, we knew that action must be taken. No one’s drinking water should be polluted for a raincoat. Though this is a major step forward, Dick’s Sporting Goods must now work with suppliers to evaluate the safety of alternatives, to avoid replacing one toxic substance with another. And other retailers must also take action towards achieving healthier and more sustainable products.’

‘State leaders are excited to see companies like Dick’s Sporting Goods demonstrate leadership,’ said Sarah Doll, Safer States national director. ‘States from California to Colorado to New York have stepped up to protect communities by banning PFAS in textiles. It is gratifying to see companies follow suit.’

‘Dick’s Sporting Goods’ decision to ban PFAS means communities like mine have a fighting chance at a healthier future,’ said Emily Donovan, co-founder of Clean Cape Feara grassroots organization working to restore and protect the air, soil, water, and food supply from PFAS contamination near Chemours in NC.

‘It’s a great day for customers who buy these products that the CEO of Dick’s Sporting Goods put customers and their families over profits,’ said Brenda Hampton, founder of Concerned Citizens of WMEL Water Authority, a grassroots organization working to clean up PFAS drinking water contamination from Daikin and 3M around Decatur, AL. ‘And I would like to thank my father above for getting into their hearts.'”…