- June 22, 2023
Major US Sports Retailer Commits to Banning 'Forever Chemicals' in Their Own-Brand Clothing
Dick's Sporting Goods, a prominent US sporting retailer, has made a commitment to prohibit the use of PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) in their own-brand clothing. PFAS are a group of synthetic chemicals, also known as "forever chemicals," due to their long-lasting nature in the environment. They are utilized in various consumer products for their water and grease-resistant properties. However, some PFAS chemicals have been found to accumulate in the human body and have been associated with serious health issues such as high cholesterol, certain cancers, and impaired reproductive and immune function.
The decision by Dick's Sporting Goods to ban PFAS in their textiles comes in the wake of a study conducted by Toxic Free Future in 2022. The study discovered PFAS in Dick's Sporting Goods products, as well as in items from 10 other companies involved in the research. Notably, 72% of tested products labeled as stain- and water-resistant contained PFAS.
Several factors contributed to this announcement, including the implementation of legal restrictions on PFAS in California and New York in 2022. Additionally, a campaign led by Toxic Free Future urged retailers to cease the use of PFAS. Mike Schade from Toxic Free Future praised Dick's Sporting Goods for taking a crucial step in rejecting harmful PFAS chemicals in their own-brand textiles. However, he emphasized the importance of working with suppliers to ensure the safety of alternatives and avoid substituting one toxic substance for another.
In the European Union, the PFAS Movement, coordinated by Swedish NGO ChemSec, includes companies that support a ban on PFAS. Since 2020, over 100 companies have joined the movement, committing to phase out PFAS. In the UK and the EU, CHEM Trust is collaborating with NGOs to advocate for a ban on all PFAS in consumer products by 2025, followed by a ban on the entire PFAS chemical family by 2030.
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