Protect Yourself

There are now alternatives to Fluorochemicals.

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Why Reduce?

We all want high performance in our athleticwear, but at what price?

We are all familiar with the feeling of wet clothing after being caught in the rain without an umbrella. If you happened to have on a jacket that repelled the rainwater and kept you dry, it was probably treated with fluorochemicals. These chemicals, also called fluorocarbons are man-made substances that have the remarkable ability to render treated surfaces repellent to a variety of liquids.
They have been used in many commercial applications where this combination of water and oil repellency is desired including non-stick cookware, water- and stain-resistant fabric finishes, paint additives, and plastics for handling solvents. Unfortunately, these chemicals come at a price to our environment.

The Science

Fluorochemicals don't break down naturally. We must address this issue

What’s so special about Fluorochemicals?

Fluorochemicals  have the simultaneously beneficial and detrimental quality of being extremely stable and long-lived in the environment.   Once believed to be inert and nontoxic, the current opinion among global health and environmental experts is more cautionary.  Several classes of these compounds have been banned or phased out of existence because of their persistence in the environment, global detectability in humans and animals, and suspicion of chronic toxicity.

Why are fluorochemicals so difficult to break down in the environment and why should I worry about them affecting my health?

The chemical bond between carbon and fluorine, which does not exist naturally, is very strong. It is not affected by exposure to oxygen, acids, or alkalis at normal temperatures. The greater number of fluorine atoms bonded to carbon in a chemical compound the more stable the compound becomes. The types of fluorochemicals used in commercial fabric repellents have the maximum fluorine-carbon ratio and are called perfluorinated compounds. These materials are the most persistent in the environment and have a tendency to accumulate in living tissue.

What Can You Do? Get Deeper into the Science

What Can You Do?

Research, Purchase Wisely, and Explore Chemical Free Products

Research Supply Chains

A brands supply chain is a good indicator of product quality & environmental awareness.

Choose Wisely

When making a purchase choose the features that are a MUST. Not every feature is needed and this helps limit chemicals involvement. 

Explore Cleaner Options

Some brands are now using Fluorine-Free water repellents on many of their  products. Explore these options for yourself.

Consumers must weigh the benefits of fluorochemical finishes such as high water repellency, oil repellency and durability against the potential for toxicological risk and environmental damage when selecting products.  For some applications such as workwear for auto mechanics or petrochemical workers or cooks, an oil-repelling finish might be warranted.  For many others where fluorochemical are frequently applied such as golf jackets, ski parkas, and awnings, non-fluorine water repellants may suffice.

There are alternatives to fluorocarbon treatments currently available for making water and stain-repellent clothing.  Fabric finishes that yield highly hydrophobic coatings over fabric fibers can be factory-applied in the same way fluorochemicals are processed and provide excellent water repellency.  These fluorine-free finishes can also give good resistance to staining by water-based materials such as wine, soda, mud, and ketchup.  The fluorochemical-free products generally must be applied at higher concentration or add-on than comparable fluorochemical finishes and may not work as effectively on hydrophilic fabrics such as cotton.  For many applications where synthetic fabrics are used, the fluorine-free finishes provide excellent performance.

Test Your Knowledge!

Find Out What You Know...

We have created a fun, educational quiz to test your knowledge about fluorocarbons, their effect, and the environment around us.

See what you know and learn what you don’t!

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Drop us a line!

We are looking for more feedback on the fluorocarbon issue and want to know your thoughts about purchasing products from brands addressing this issue...