Why other fabric protectors can be harmful to your health
In the last few years, there has been much awareness raised around certain potentially toxic synthetic chemicals used since the 1950s to make products that resist heat, stains, grease and water. Products that contain these chemicals include foams used for firefighting, some food packaging and also many fabric, shoe, furniture and carpet stain protection products.
This group of manufactured chemicals, called PFAS (polyflurorinated alkyl substances) – previously known as PFCs (per- and polyfluroinated chemicals) contains many substances of which we have very little to no research to show how they may affect the environment and human health. Two of the most concerning and well-known PFAS that have shown to have potential risk are PFOS (perfluorooctane) and PFOA (perflurooctanoic acid).
According to the enHealth Guidance Statements on per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances, animal studies have shown a causal link between high doses of PFOA and PFOS and changes in liver, thyroid and pancreatic function and hormone changes which can lead to potential cancer risk. Further human study trials are needed, however, the Australian Government (NICNAS) believe them to be dangerous enough to be restricting the use of PFOA and PFOS within Australia and these chemicals are also now being phased out around the world due to the potential risk they pose on human health and the environment.
Although most people exposed to PFAS are ingesting it through eating food and drinking water containing PFAS, we are also coming in contact with these chemicals from household products. According to NSW Government website, treated carpets and floors with waxes and sealants that contain PFAS can be an important source of exposure.
Until recently, certain fabric protectors, such as Scotchgard™ were using PFOS as a key ingredient in their product range. In 2006, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mandated that textile treatments can no longer contain PFOS and PFOA due to their potential risk. When this occurred, many fabric protector companies just swapped to another PFAS, one that is considered slightly safer, however there is little human data to support these contentions. By swapping to a ‘safer’, short-chain PFAS, these fabric protectors are now much less effective at stain repelling and have a shorter lifespan than their original product. Furthermore, once released into the environment and gradually broken down, the PFAS these companies are using, indirectly releases PFOA. Therefore, even though they are manufacturing a product with no detectable amounts of PFOA they STILL produce PFOA when the chemicals begin to decompose.
It is scary to think that these fabric protector companies are happy to sell you a product that STILL could have serious health implications to you and your family. Most of the general public are still unaware of the risks associated with these products and armed with the right knowledge would most often choose not to use these potentially harmful products. So what fabric protector is safe and effective to use? We have the solution.
Why protectME Textiles is the SAFE fabric protection option
protectME Textiles DOES NOT use any PFAS at all!
protectME Textiles is made of SiO2 (silicon dioxide) – the primary ingredient in glass.
SiO2 is an inert substance that surrounds us in nature. It is thus a “basic element” in nature. There are no health risks associated with protectME Textiles. In its’ hardened state, these coatings are even safe in food and can be applied anywhere without concern.
We pride ourselves on being an environmentally friendly product as well. No hazardous substances are created during production or decomposition. Our products also create enormous cost savings in the field of cleaning and the use of chemical cleaners which can harm the environment.
All raw materials of our products conform and are registered with REACH, the regulatory body for the registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals within the European Union, where the main ingredients are manufactured. Our products are also listed with the Australian regulatory body (NICNAS) for this same purpose.
For more information pertaining to our product materials, please refer to our Safety Data Sheet.