Friday, February 13, 2009

PFOS in Textile

PFOS (Perfluoroctane sulfonates) is the substances for surface treatment applications for giving the surface material with repellent properties against water, oil and soil and softer handfeeling. In textile industry, the application likes rainwear, upholstery fabric, curtain material, workwear, bed sheeting...etc.
As PFOS has the properties with water resistance, machanical load, intense heat and stable on the laundering and drycleaning processes. So, PFOS is widely applied in coated fabric in textile market nowadays.

When PFOS applied as a finishing treatment to textile materials, the perfluorocarbon chain tends to be orientated away from the surface, lowering the surface energy of the material, thereby forming a flexible replelling barrier and preventing anything from interacting with the fiber surface.

PFOS are regarded as inert chemicals and biologically inactive. But, PFOS were classified by Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks (SCHER) as very presistent, bio-accumulative and toxic (PBT) chemical compounds. Therefore, new EU Directive 2006/122/EC was issued.

EU Directive 2006/122/EC
Perfluoroctane sulfonates
C8F17SO2X (where X = OH, metal salt, halide amide and other derivatives including polymers)

(1) May not be placed on the market or used as a substance or constituent of preparations in a concentration equal to or higher than 0.005% by mass;

(2) May not be placed on the market in semi-finished products or articles, or parts thereof, if the concentration of PFOS is equal to or higher than 0.1% by mass;

Or, for textiles or other coated materials. If the amount of PFOS is equal to or higher than 1ug/m2 of the coated material.

* PFOA is also a related substance of PFOS, which chemical at the heart of this Class Action lawsuit is Ammonium Perfluorooctanoate, commonly referred to as C8, C-8, or APFO.

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