Forever Chemicals Now Detected in Yoga Pants, Bedding & More
February 22, 2022
A pair of new reports show that “forever chemicals” linked to immune system damage, cancer, liver damage, decreased fertility and thyroid disruption are routinely detected in everyday products like yoga pants, bedding, tablecloths and more.
The worst part of all of this is that this chemical application really isn’t necessary in the first place. And it’s so widespread that, today, PFAS contamination is found inside most of us, too.
What Are Forever Chemicals?
Types of forever chemicals are known as PFAS. They are per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances with the following properties:
Even the American Chemistry Society admits: “The chemistry that makes them so useful also makes them stick around in the environment and in us — and that could be a bad thing.”
PFAS are used commonly in:
shoes and boots
stain-proof carpeting and clothing
fast-food packaging (which means there are forever chemicals in food)
Due to their persistence and widespread use, forever chemicals are now also a tap water toxicity problem.
Just like phthalates, another widespread chemical group, it seems PFAS started off as a good thing, but without proper testing for long-term impacts on human and environmental health, we unleashed a monster.
Recent testing by Toxic-Free Future delivered some key findings, including:
Out of the “stain-” or “water-resistant” products tested, 72% tested positive for PFAS.
These included hiking pants, mattress pads, comforters, rain jackets, tablecloths and napkins.
At least one product from each of the 10 retailers tested contained PFAS.
Manufacturers are using a mixture of PFAS that includes compounds banned in other countries.
Alternatives to PFAS for stain and water resistance are in use. Toxic-Free Future items marketed as stain- and/or water-resistant were free of PFAS.
Evidence of PFAS in women’s sportswear like yoga pants from popular brands, including Old Navy and Lululemon.
25 percent of the activewear tested positive in an EPA-certified lab for indications of PFAS.
Workout leggings and yoga pants tested positive, including brands from Old Navy and Lululemon.
Why Are They Dangerous?
PFAS chemicals are linked to:
Harm to the immune system
Reduced vaccine efficacy
Reproductive system damage
Lower birth weight
Increased risk of certain cancers
Impaired healthy cholesterol levels
How to Avoid Them
If you’re wondering how to avoid forever chemicals, the answer is it’s virtually impossible at this time. Today, PFAS chemicals are even detected in groundwater, tap water, rain water and even the air.
They’ve traveled around the atmosphere and rained down on even our most primitive locations all over the planet. It’s no wonder they’re inside of most of us, too.
“These toxic chemicals are so ubiquitous that it’s now literally raining PFAS,” said Scott Faber, Environmental Working Group’s senior vice president for government affairs. “While we’re heartened that the Biden administration and the EPA continue to make PFAS a priority, to truly tackle this national PFAS pollution crisis, we need a whole-of-government approach that includes the Department of Defense, the Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Aviation Administration.”
Sign here to tell Congress to stop the PFAS contamination crisis.
Limit meals of takeout food.
Tell companies like REI to ban the use of PFAS.
Avoid nonstick cookware.
Opt for PFAS-free outerwear from companies like Patagonia.
Check your municipal water tests for PFAS contamination, and form a community group to pressure decision-makers to clean up the problem.
Avoid anything labeled as “stain-proof” or “water-proof” unless you can verify the manufacturer used a safer, PFAS-free alternative.
There are more than 9,000 forever chemicals out there. They are so widespread that 99% of Americans contain PFAS inside of their bodies.
Studies show PFAS exposure may cause thyroid issues, weight gain and certain cancers, and high cholesterol is linked to PFAS exposure as well.
Watch out for “stain-proof” and “waterproof” claims.
Some yoga pants, mattress pads and comforters tested positive.
You can do your best to avoid PFAS chemicals, but public health experts say we need stronger laws and a nationwide plan to deal with PFAS pollution.
Use this guide for more information on how to protect yourself from this widespread pollution.