Hazardous chemicals have been found in outdoor clothing

Hazardous chemicals have been found in outdoor clothing

Tests carried out in Germany on jackets and gloves sold by outdoor clothing brands including The North Face, Jack Wolfskin, Patagonia and Adidas are said to have found the presence of chemicals that are hazardous to the environment and can pose long-term risks to human health.

The research by environmental campaign group Greenpeace for its report 'Chemistry For Any Weather - Part II', found that all but one of the 17 items tested contained perfluorinated and polyfluorinated chemicals (PFCs).

Some PFCs, like perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), are known to be highly persistent in the environment and can act as hormone disruptors, having adverse impacts on the reproductive system and the immune system.

One pair of gloves sold by Swiss manufacturer Mammut was found to contain nine times the legal limit of hazardous PFOS.

And jackets from well-known brands had high contamination levels of other hazardous PFCs.

Previous investigations by Greenpeace International have revealed how the hazardous chemicals used in textile production processes enter water systems - both at the place of production as well as being released in the discharge of washing machines.

However, the findings of this new report show that these chemicals can also evaporate into the air, converting into acids that can easily leak back into groundwater and drinking water.

Greenpeace says the findings reinforce the need for big brands to urgently take steps to detox their products and supply chains.

A number of sportswear brands, including Adidas, Jack Wolfskin, Li Ning, Nike and Puma have joined Greenpeace's Detox campaign, which commits them to eliminate all hazardous chemicals from their supply chains by 2020.