Major US Sports Retailer Bans Toxic PFAS Chemicals from their Products
Dick’s Sporting Goods, one of the largest US sporting retailers has committed to banning PFAS ‘forever chemicals’ in their own-brand clothing.
PFAS are a family of over 10,000 synthetic chemicals known as the ‘forever chemicals’ due to their extreme persistence in the environment. They are used in a variety of consumer products, from cookware to clothing, due to their water and grease-proof properties. Some PFAS chemicals have been shown to build-up and persist in our bodies and certain PFAS have been linked to significant health problems including high cholesterol, some cancers, and impaired reproductive and immune functioning.
Dick’s Sporting Good’s commitment to ban PFAS in their textiles follows a 2022 study conducted by Toxic Free Future which found PFAS in their products, as well as in products from the 10 other companies involved in the study. 72% of tested products that were labelled as stain- and water-resistant contained PFAS.
Other events that occurred in the lead up to this announcement included the introduction of legal restrictions on PFAS in California and New York in 2022, and a campaign led by Toxic Free Future calling on retailers to end PFAS use.
Toxic Free Future’s Mike Schade said that “Dick’s Sporting Goods has taken critical action by saying no to dangerous PFAS chemicals in its own-brand textiles” but that they “must now work with suppliers to evaluate the safety of alternatives, to avoid replacing one toxic substance with another”.
In the EU, Swedish NGO ChemSec coordinates the PFAS Movement, whose members include companies that support a ban on PFAS. Over 100 companies committed to phasing out PFAS have joined the movement since 2020.