LCA confirms fluorine textile coating risks

A 3-year EU life cycle assessment study to evaluate alternatives to fluorine-based durable water and oil textile repellents (DWOR) has concluded that fluorinated formulations have a negative environmental impact “10 – 40 times larger” than fluorine-free alternatives. The same study also confirms that while fluorine-free water repellent coatings can do the same job as their fluorine-based counterparts, these alternatives don’t perform anywhere near the same level as traditional ‘C8’ and ‘C6’ fluorine based finishes when it comes to oil repellency.

While this may not come as a surprise to chemists in the industry it does coincide with new claims that replacement PFASs (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) may be just as bio-accumulative as original (legacy) PFASs that are being phased out – and are, therefore, not necessarily safer.

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