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California plans green step for converted textiles

Nov '19
Pic: Shutterstock
Pic: Shutterstock
California’s department of toxic substances control (DTSC) recently proposed to list treatments containing perfluoroalkyl or polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) for use on converted textiles or leathers like carpets, upholstery, clothing and shoes as ‘priority products’ under the Safer Consumer Products (SCP) regulations. Such treatments are frequently used in homes and occupations.

PFASs are a class of chemicals characterised by highly stable carbon-fluorine bonds and used in many applications.

DTSC has identified treatments for converted textiles or leathers as significant sources of human and ecological PFAS exposures, especially via inhalation during product use, according to a DTSC press release.

These treatments contribute to the ubiquitous environmental contamination and exposures, as do other consumer products such as food packaging, cosmetics and waterproof clothing.

There is evidence that exposure to PFASs can lead to adverse health outcomes in humans. If humans are exposed to PFASs through diet, drinking water or inhalation, these chemicals remain in the body for a long time. As people continue to be exposed to PFASs the levels in their bodies may increase to the point where they suffer from adverse health effects.

Studies indicate that some PFASs can cause reproductive and developmental, liver and kidney, and immunological effects, as well as tumours in laboratory animals.

The most consistent findings from human epidemiology studies are a small increase in serum cholesterol levels among exposed populations, with more limited findings related to infant birth weights, effects on the immune system, cancer, and thyroid hormone disruption. Some PFASs have also been linked to phytotoxicity, aquatic toxicity, and terrestrial eco-toxicity.

DTSC has found that such treatments have the potential to cause significant and widespread adverse impacts to sensitive subpopulations, including foetuses, infants, young children, pregnant women, carpet and upholstery cleaners, workers in upholstered furniture, furnishings, clothing, shoes, and carpet stores, as well as auto dealership workers and auto detailing technicians; to environmentally sensitive habitats; and to threatened and endangered species.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)

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