At Cottonsafe® we felt it was important to post a PFAS guide for our customers.
Our business has chosen never to treat any of our products with 'Forever Chemicals'. In fact we do not treat any products with any chemical treatments at all, including highly fluorinated chemicals. Not now, not ever.
We are proud to be Stockholm Convention Compliant and are determined to lead the industry to a safer, honest and more eco-conscious future.
Fidra have some useful information about PFAS on their website (https://www.fidra.org.uk/projects/pfas/), see an extract below:
PFAS: ‘Forever Chemicals’ in our environment
- PFAS (Per- or Poly-Fluorinated Alkyl Substances) are a group of over 4700 industrial chemicals.
- Their ability to repel oil and water, lubricate and helps things spread, means they are used in many everyday items, from food packaging, cookware and toiletries, to clothing, carpets and cosmetics .
- PFAS are known as the ‘forever chemicals’  due to their extreme persistence in the environment. Some take over 1,000 years to degrade, allowing concentrations to grow over time , , .
- Very little is known about the vast majority of these chemicals before they go on the market, but those that have been studied in depth have been linked to major environmental and human health concerns.
- Fidra are working to end the unnecessary use of PFAS in everyday products.
The problem with PFAS
- PFAS are persistent; they don’t readily breakdown in the environment. The more we use, the more they build up. Often referred to as the ‘forever chemicals’, some PFAS can remain in the environment for over 1,000 years. The effects of the pollution we cause today will be felt for generations to come.
- PFAS can bioaccumulate; they build up along food chains. Our bodies, and the bodies of wildlife, get rid of PFAS very slowly. Being exposed to even small amounts of PFAS over a long period of time, could cause concentrations to build up to harmful levels .
- PFAS can be toxic to wildlife: studies have shown that PFAS can harm the immune system, kidney function and liver function of bottlenose dolphins , as well as the immune system of otters. While PFAS levels in polar bears are high enough to cause neurological damage, interfering with their hormones systems and disrupting reproduction , .
- PFAS can be toxic to humans: there is growing evidence that links PFAS exposure to a wide range of human health concerns, from growth, learning, and behavioural problems, to cancer, immune system disorders, fertility issues and even obesity , , , .
What can be done?
Fidra’s asks of YOU:
- Help identify sources of PFAS using our simple bead test.
- Raise awareness of PFAS by watching and sharing our short video.
- Support companies that offer PFAS-free products using our PFAS guide to shopping.
- Send your MP our PFAS policy briefing, asking them to support urgent PFAS legislation on food packaging.
Fidra’s ask of RETAILERS:
We’re asking UK supermarkets for a commitment to phase-out all PFAS from paper and board food packaging.
Fidra’s ask of GOVERNMENT:
We’re asking the UK Government for comprehensive legislation restricting the use of all PFAS in paper and board food packaging, protecting both our health and environment from the impacts of persistent chemicals.