The Wrinkles in Getting ‘Forever Chemicals’ Out of Our Clothes
So-called “forever chemicals” are seemingly everywhere. A recent government study found close to half of U.S. tap water contains at least one PFAS chemical. They’re also on a lot of our clothes, where the chemicals are used to promote water resistance or repel stains. But some of the things that make PFAS so effective also means they stay in our bodies for years. And these chemicals have been linked to health issues, including high cholesterol and an increased risk of kidney cancer. Now, as clothing companies look to eliminate PFAS from their products, they’re facing another challenge: what to replace the chemicals with—ideally without sacrificing performance. WSJ’s Alex Ossola dives into the textile industry’s efforts to move on from PFAS and change our expectations around our clothing.
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