In yet another example of the prevalence of the hazardous chemicals known as PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) in consumer products, industrial products and textiles, researchers have found notably high levels in school uniforms sold in North America.
In a study published in Environmental Science and Technology Letters, scientists at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana University, the University of Toronto and the Green Science Policy Institute analyzed a variety of children’s textiles. Fluorine was detected in 65 percent of samples tested.
But concentrations were highest in school uniforms — and higher in those uniforms labeled as 100 percent cotton as opposed to synthetics.
“What was surprising about this group of samples was the high detection frequency of PFAS in the garments required for children to wear,” said Graham Peaslee, professor of physics at Notre Dame and a co-author of the study. “Children are a vulnerable population when it comes to chemicals of concern, and nobody knows these textiles are being treated with PFAS and other toxic chemicals.”
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