Survey of chemical substances in consumer products No. 136, 2015

Polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in textiles for children


Polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) is a large family of surfactants with different uses and environmental and health properties. There are major difference in how thoroughly the substances are tested for hazardous effects on human health and the environment. Among the substances studied most thoroughly, carcinogenic, toxic for reproduction and acute toxic effects have been observed. PFAS-based coatings are being used in garments and other textiles in order to make the materials water and dirt repellent.

The purpose of this report is to investigate which consumer products of textiles for children contain PFASs and analyse which PFASs that can be found in the materials. Further the extent to which PFASs may be released during wear and washing of textiles is investigated and it is assessed whether the release of the substances poses health and environmental risk. Relevant waste streams, waste amounts and fates of the substances in waste treatment are also assessed.

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