Norway adopts PFOA sales ban | Dyes & Chemicals News

Norway adopts PFOA sales ban



testube OSLO – Norway has become the first European country to introduce legislation that bans the sale of products and textiles containing PFOA. While Norway’s decisiveness on this issue is welcome, Ecotextile News understands there are calls to extend the transition period for this ban as there is currently no agreed procedure to test down to the trace levels that Norway’s Climate and Environment Ministry is talking about – namely 0.001 per cent PFOA in a mixture, 1.0 ug/m2 in textiles and 0.1 per cent of other products’ ‘constituent parts’.

Norway’s ban on the manufacture, import, exports and selling of consumer products and textiles containing PFOA is now in effect. Although after consultation with industry, it has been agreed that a transitional period, allowing the import and sale of products manufactured before 1 June, will last until 1 January 2018.

PFOA is a synthetic acid, which, in the textile industry, is primarily a by-product of other chemicals used in the manufacture of water and oil-resistant products. It is an unintended by-product of some ‘long-chain’ (C8) fluorine-based water and stain repellent fabric treatments.

Extremely persistent and bio-accumulative, concentrations in the environment, wildlife and in human blood are known to be increasing and studies show it can damage reproduction and be carcinogenic in living organisms.

According to the Norway’s Climate and Environment Ministry, the determination of limit values for “individual parts of a solid product” will be based on the definition of the term “article” as stated in article 3 of the REACH regulation.

“This is an important measure to eliminate the use and release of a substance we know have serious health and environmental harmful effects,” said Marit Kjeldby, deputy director environment directorate on introducing the ban, which took effect from 1 June.

via Norway adopts PFOA sales ban | Dyes & Chemicals News.

Research list issued for hazardous textile chemicals | Dyes & Chemicals News

Research list issued for hazardous textile chemicals Print Thursday, 19 June 2014 ShareThisZDHC LONDON – The ZDHC Group has issued a new ‘research list’ which outlines its research and development efforts to prioritise replacements for substances that currently do not have safer alternatives and that are restricted on its recently released manufacturing restricted substance list MRSL. In the list, the ZDHC also says that for some end-uses there may never be ‘suitable alternatives’ to fluorine-based chemistry for oil and water repellent fabrics.The ZDHC Group, which aims to reach zero discharge of hazardous chemicals from textile supply chains by 2020, has today unveiled a new ‘research list’ that identifies a range of potentially hazardous substances which it is analysing in order to identify and develop new alternatives before these chemicals are moved on to its MRSL for supply chain phase out.Both the research list and the MRSL will be updated regularly as data become available.Interestingly, the ZDHC admits: “Though for some chemicals, substitutes could be many years away.” And in particular on the ‘research list’ it also acknowledges that for perfluorinated compounds PFC’s commonly used in stain and water repellent coatings: “There is, according to some authorities, a potential risk that short-chain PFCs may have comparable risks to long chain PFCs.”As such, the ZDHC has placed short-chain C6, C4 based PFC on its research list to demonstrate “we are working with stakeholders to find replacements for short-chain PFCs. We fully acknowledge that this may take many years. As long as no safer alternative for durable water, oil and stain repellency and soil release with satisfactory performance level is found, some brands will continue using short-chain PFCs on their consumer products.”The ZDHC also notes: “In a few cases, due to the end use of the textile e.g., medical field, personal protective equipment, military, performance requirements must be considered more important than potential environmental risks. In these few cases, we acknowledge that there may never be suitable alternatives.”Other chemical substances on the research list include dimethyl formamide as a solvent for PU coatings, during the processing of artificial leather. This hazardous substance can also be used in the formulation of surfactants, liquid dyes and fluorescent whitening agents. It is also the solvent used during the manufacture of acrylic fibres and some plastics, as well as the main part of the solvent mixture or exclusively the solvent for PU coatings.

via Research list issued for hazardous textile chemicals | Dyes & Chemicals News.

Fashion’s Dirty Little ‘Sustainable’ Secret; Wear More and Wash Less 

Last year Tommy Hilfiger made headlines when he stated that he ‘didn’t wash his jeans for months,’ and then, after a pause, added ‘never.’ The comment set off a maelstrom over the hygienic implications but also something else — more and more people started to come forward and admit that they too wash their jeans “never.” It’s not just better for the jeans, it’s better for the environment to wear more and wash less.

When examining the carbon footprint of apparel, especially something cotton like jeans or a t-shirt, it is shocking how much the impact increases once the consumer takes the product home. Resource inputs to grow, manufacture and transport garments to market all pale in comparison to the water and energy resources that get consumed once said item is in the hands of the wearer. Simply put — laundering and washing consume the largest amount of resources and the largest carbon footprint in the life of the garment, whether it was produced domestically or abroad and we are drowning in the waste of washing.


Kate Fletcher, Reader in Sustainable Fashion at the Centre for Sustainable Fashion, London College of Fashion puts it this way, “Keeping clean used to be about disease prevention, but now the culture of whiter than white has weakened our immune systems, lined the pockets of detergent manufacturers and led to the startling fact that the energy needed to wash your favourite garment is about six times that needed to make it.”

And now jean wearers, be they the new raw denim wearer or someone like Hilfiger referring to his Levi’s, are all coming clean that they ‘never wash.’ The CEO of Swedish denim company Nudie, Palle Stenberg says of his own jeans, “Here is a pair I’ve been wearing every day for at least two years. Can you see the repairs? If I turn it inside out … you can see repairs. That’s the idea. Buy a pair of organic jeans, never wash them and you wear them and wear them and wear them and they become like a second skin.”

To further cement the normalcy of this idea, a student and researcher at the University of Alberta tested the bacteria content of jeans worn for 15 months, and found that the bacteria levels in the jeans were similar post-wash and pre-wash. Further proof to Fletcher’s point that washing clothes is “a habit and an activity closely tied in with social acceptance, personal and romantic success and happiness,” and not at all based on hygienic necessity.

Want ways to reduce your closet’s carbon footprint, use these these never wash tips:

Worried about bacteria: place clothing in a sealed bag in the freezer overnight, up to 72 hours for maximum bacteria killing effect, this will also reduce any odor on the garment

Worried about odor: hang the garment outside. Whites will also benefit from bacteria reduction in direct sunlight

Sweat stains: buy or make underarm shields that can be removed and washed when necessary, reducing the need to wash tops, sweater and shirts

Heavy dirt or surface stains: wear the item into the shower or spot clean with a lightly damp cloth

Image: University of Cambridge Institute for Manufacturing (2006) Well Dressed? The Present and Future Sustainability of Clothing and Textiles in the United Kingdom

via Fashion’s Dirty Little ‘Sustainable’ Secret; Wear More and Wash Less | Kate Black.

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