The athletic apparel industry has been relying on various chemicals, sometimes toxic, for decades to bring sweat-wicking, stain resistance, water resistance, quick-drying fabric, and other types of nonstick qualities to textiles used for high-performance clothing.
These toxic chemicals are so common in consumer products and manufacturing that they’re everywhere—including inside our bodies.
There are two substances that are significantly raising worldwide attention: Bisphenol A (BPA) and Per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).
Some key information can be found in the below:
Whether found in a raincoat or a pair of yoga pants, PFAS are used widely in our clothing, shoes, and accessories. These chemicals also pollute at every stage of production. At the PFAS chemical manufacturing facilities and garment factories, they often contaminate the air, water, and soil of the surrounding environment.
Products coated in PFAS can also expose consumers directly during use. And PFAS-treated apparel that is washed and eventually dumped in landfills or incinerated leaks “forever chemicals” into the environment at the end of its life cycle too. Pollution generated far away also circles the globe, for example, through ocean waves or rain, with wide-reaching impacts.
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