Fluorocarbon is an umbrella term for a number of perfluorinated substances that, because of their characteristics, are frequently used for outdoor products and in other contexts. They are often water and dirt repellent – which is perfect for impregnating rain gear or backpacks.
Unfortunately, fluorocarbons also have other, less desirable qualities. Their extremely stable chemical compounds can be stored in the body. There are also substantial suspicions that they may affect reproduction and hormone production in mammals – reason enough for us to do whatever we can to avoid them.
The fluorocarbon, PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid), is being investigated by the EU as to whether it should be classified as dangerous. Its harmful ”relative” PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonate) was phased out in the USA as early as 2001 and in the EU in 2006. What is deceptive about these substances is that non-harmful and regularly used substances, such as PTFE (polytetrafluoroethene), use PFOA in their manufacturing processes.
How perfluorinated substances affect nature:
* Impede reproduction in mammals
* Are a suspected carcinogenic
* Take a long time to break down in nature
* Are stored in the body
* Can be transported long distances
* Have been found as far north as the arctic region, in polar bears
At Fjällräven we have decided not to use fluorocarbons in our garments.
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