PFOS and PFOA are commonly used in non-stick and stain/water repellant finishes and some waterproof films. As a practice we do NOT use these in the manufacture of our fabrics. However, because of recent findings of PFAS found in women's underwear (not made using our fabrics) we re-assessed all our manufacturing processes and suppliers of raw materials to re-assure PFOS and PFOA products are not used in the manufacture of our fabrics.
Wazoodle Seal of Confidence
None of our fabric brands use PFOS or PFOA either in their manufacture or finishing. This includes all the fabrics under the brands of Zorb, ProSoft PUL, ProSoft Food Safe, ProCare FoodSafe, ProCool Performance, PROTEC Microfleece, ProECO Bamboo & Organic Cotton, WazWool Merino Wool, AKAStiq Loop. All these fabrics are Made in USA (one Made in Canada) and kept free from BPA and PFOS and PFOA.
Below you will find more details on the waterproof and water repellant fabrics.
So, what are PFAS and PFOA?
PFAS are Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, these include perfluoro octane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and others. These fluorinated compounds are used in a wide variety of consumer goods including stain resistant upholstery & carpets, nonstick cookware, paints, coatings and many more goods. In the textile world they are used in water-repellent finishes on fabrics. Detailed information is available on the EPA website.
PFAS have been manufactured and used in a variety of industries around the globe, including in the United States since the 1940s. Certain PFAS chemicals are no longer manufactured in the United States as a result of phase outs including the PFOA Stewardship Program by the EPA in which eight major chemical manufacturers agreed to eliminate the use of PFOA and PFOA-related chemicals in their products and as emissions from their facilities. Although PFOA and PFOS are no longer manufactured in the United States, they are still produced internationally and can be imported into the United States in consumer goods such as carpet, leather and apparel, textiles, paper and packaging, coatings, rubber and plastics. You can read the entire EPA actions at this link.
PFAS in textiles?
In the Textile industry the water and stain repellant finishes used on fabrics were made using PFOS and PFOA. This included the well-known brands like ScotchGuard by 3M and Teflon by Dupont. As part of the PFOA Stewardship program companies like Dupont and 3M committed to eliminate the use of PFOA and developed newer technologies. We have been following the developments since 2010.
We are very conscious of the health, safety and environmental impacts of chemicals used in the manufacture of our fabrics. The effects of these chemicals on the environment were of great concern, because they are said to be non-degradable and can be extremely harmful to people and the environment. There are potential health and safety concerns with both PFOS and PFOA. Both are toxic and PFOA has been identified by risk assessment studies as being consistent with the category of a “likely carcinogen.
Waterproof PUL and ProCare
Waterproofing is done by using thin films or coatings attached to the back of fabrics to prevent water from passing through. Some fabrics use PTFE films (GORE-TEX® is the best-known branded membrane and is made using PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) that contain fluorocarbons. Our ProSoft PUL and ProCare do NOT use fluorinated carbons in their structure. PUL is made using polyurethane film from Bayer bonded on to a polyester or cotton fabric that is also made by us (ProCool, ProEco or Zorb brands). ProCare uses a safe, non toxic polyvinyl coated onto a polyester fabric. Both are free from any PFAS.
Water Repellant Fabrics
When we introduced water repellant finishing Dupont was already phasing out the use of PFOA (also known as the C8 products) from their Teflon brand. We do NOT use the Teflon products that contained PFOA on any of our stock fabrics. Our first few batches were made using their newer technology that does not contain PFOA. However, over the past few months we have been experimenting with the new plant-based finishes from renewable resources like DetraPel and Teflon EcoElite™. Once the application and performance are established, they will be released to the market.
Teflon EcoElite™ finish is a bio-based and non-fluorinated stain repellent technology that repels water and water-based stains. The finish can be applied to a variety of fabrics without impacting feel or breathability.
DetraPel® is a water-based repellent solution free of harmful fluorochemicals like PFOS and PFOA. DetraPel® creates an invisible barrier that protects the fibers from damage caused by a variety of substances.
It is considered that all the PFAS produced are virtually indestructible, we cannot help with what has been done in the past, but we can do our little bit by keeping our fabrics free from them.
At Wazoodle as we continue to develop new fabrics and incorporate progressively safer technologies our focus is on sustainable manufacturing and our mission is to develop safe, user friendly, reusable fabrics that reduce our carbon footprint on the earth. Our customer base consists of many ecopreneurs that are making products that help people and the environment and we are very grateful for their support and will always look out for them so you can purchase with confidence.
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