2006-01-19

PFOS GoreTex Teflon environmental toxins

Recently SNF and Norges Naturvernsforbund released a study of flourinated compounds in all-weather clothes for children. Either the material itself or the substances that are used to impregnate the clothes are fluorinated. Fabrics of the materials Gore-Tex Paclite, HellyTech and FineTex/Dupont Teflom all released a variety of fluorinated compounds. All of which are classified as PBT - Persistent Bioaccumulative Toxins. The same and similar fluorinated compounds can be found in many sports clothes aimed to be water proof and breathable, but also in synthetic rugs, table cloths, bed linen and certain types of food packages. And of course the fluids that can be bought to impregnate these kind of fabrics.

Already very small amounts of these compounds have negative impact on reproduction, cellular function and hormonal systems, just as do many other by now classical environmental toxins such as PCB and DDT, but the degradation time of these fluorinated compounds are much longer. As far is known many of the fluorinated compounds are not degraded in nature and some are extremely bioaccumulative.

There are many abbreviations for the different types of these fluorinated compounds; PFOS, PFAS, PFOA, FTOH etc. The levels of PFAS i animals and environment are in many places in the Nordic countries higher than the classical environmental toxin PCB.

It also acknowledged (outside this report) that Teflon coatings of frying pans can release these kind of environmental toxins, or at least release compounds that in turn can be transformed into such.

3M, Bayer, Ciba, Clariant, Dupont are some names of companies that produce these type of environmental toxins ...

The report (in Swedish) can be found here.

11 Comments:

At January 20, 2006, Blogger Johan said...

According to the report clothes of the following brands contain fluorinated compunds:

HellyHansen
Stadium
Graninge
Haglöfs
Craft
Fjällräven
Lundhags
Norröna
Klättermusen
Peak Performance
Tierra
Polarn & Pyret
ARC'TERYX

 
At January 20, 2006, Blogger Johan said...

Today I received an email from Lundhags that they have sent out request for information from their suppliers if fluorinated compounds are used in making the materials they use for their boots. And that they aim to replace them if they contain these compound, if possible (sic!).

In the same email they say the impregnation from NikWax do not contain any of these fluorinated compounds. See environmental under their FAQ section.

 
At January 20, 2006, Blogger AEnima said...

Well... here you are talking a bit of chinese to me again... let's start by the begining... what is a fluorinated compound and why is it bad? Always though fluor was a great thing for the teeth... I need to learn environmental stuff very slowly... "Now, can you explain it to me as if I were a 4 year old" (philadelfia) I apologize for my lack of knowledge, it's really embarassing.

 
At January 21, 2006, Blogger Johan said...

chlorine and fluorine are part of a group of elements that are called halogens.

Compounds that are made of (mostly) halogens and carbon (and hydrogen) are usually very fat soluble (they usually do not dissolve very well in water). this means that they are good for repelling water from textiles (eg GoreTex) and frying pans (Teflon). Indeed GoreTex and Teflon are very similar (if not identical).

This "fat" property of the halogenated compounds (PFOS, DDT, PCB etc) make them accumulate in body fat. Which in turn make less prone to degradation.

These compounds do take vary long to break down, these accumulate in adipose tissue (fat), and many of them are toxic, disturb hormonal balances, have negative effect on internal the reproductive organs etc etc.

Although the effects on environment including humans are not yet fully understood. But all the properties above would place them in the group of materials that are PBT - Persistent (no not break down or are not transformed into something else) Bioacculative (increase in total amount in body over time) Toxins (poisons!!!).

Flouride in tooth paste are present as ion and thus have quite different chemical properties. Indeed, flouride in the mineral of teeth made the same less prone to acid attack and thus is much less likely to dissolve.

 
At January 22, 2006, Blogger AEnima said...

Thank you johan!!!

Now I can blame my tennis shoes for being fat! great! ehehehehe

Now seriously, thank you for taking the time to explain. I´m very apreciated.

 
At January 24, 2006, Blogger Luigi Mario said...

I allways wondered if those kevlar and teflon used in some kitchen apliances where dangerous? If true why do they still make them?

 
At January 24, 2006, Blogger Luigi Mario said...

...by the way ive just found this artichle on winkipedia about those teflon apliaces...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teflon

it looks that manufacturers luke DupOnt stop making them when they figured that would be dangerous for health when heated. I hope that im talking on the same thing that youve posted :\

 
At January 24, 2006, Blogger Johan said...

I think all of the so called non-stick treated fryings pans etc are coated with some kind of fluorinated compound. Teflon, SilverStone, whatever.

DuPont still makes Teflon coatings for drying pans, bake trays etc etc. See www.teflon.com

I think such frying pans are associated with an increased level of fluorinated compounds in humans. normal tear and wear (without excessive overheating) is enough to release small amounts every time you use them. Indeed, a teflon-pan looks a bit dodgy after some years of use ... so some of it has obviously been torn away ...

I have been looking for a normal cast-iron frying pan but they seem to be unheard of in Portugal. In Sweden they are very common. Indeed, this is the traditional way of making frying pans.

I have seen steel frying pans in Portugal but things sticks so easily on them. The cast-iron pans are almost non-stick. The carbon layer that is formed during cooking helps to make them to be reasonably non-stick.

Just do not wash the cast-iron pans with detergent, just water.

Teflon coated frying pans are still made them because people still buy them!!! there is no law against Teflon for use in frying pans etc.

it is not easy to figure with what frying pans are coated with because there is no law stating that such information is mandatory.

 
At January 24, 2006, Blogger Johan said...

those reusable bake papers are not made with paper, it is teflon!

 
At January 24, 2006, Blogger Luigi Mario said...

You can find some non stick pans withou teflon, i was browsing on this website that sells catalog products like kitchen apliances and other things, and saw that some aplioances are very good and without teflon...quite expensive thou.

http://www.ideiacasa.com/frame.asp?mn=produtos

 
At January 24, 2006, Blogger Johan said...

they look very much like ordinary thick bottomed steel pots.

 

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