View topic - is my waterproof breathable jacket harmful to my health?

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PostPosted: February 8th, 2012, 11:52 pm 
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Location: Rattlesnake Pond ME
I agree with PK.. After watching a TV show that illustrated how food tastes can be replicated by chemicals, I look at the supermarket as a time bomb riddled with perils. Not all are on labels..fruits and veggies and meats are just unknowns as what has been added and modified is not listed.


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PostPosted: February 9th, 2012, 8:05 am 
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Location: Grand Haven, Michigan U.S.A.
1 in 100 shouldn't be considered a high risk? The town I live in has a beach. Warm summer afternoon maybe 5,000 people are on the beach. So one percent of them get sick. That's 50 people... Ambulances start showing up, the police, the news media? You can guarantee that the local health department, feds, CDC, and other agancies would treat this as a high risk.

How about you are approaching an intersection, and there is a 1% chance that someone will run the redlight and you die as a result. Wanna take that risk and continue driving through the intersection? Even common car accidents are more like 1 in 10,000 chance. That's 1 /100th the risk of 1%!

Here in Michigan carcinongenic risk is determined on the basis of the 95% upper bound on a calculated risk of 1 in 100,000. Most other states are 1 in a million! 1% is a huge number in tox studies.

PK


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PostPosted: February 10th, 2012, 7:36 am 
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Some research for anyone interested -

REI's eVent fabric is made from the same material as Gore-tex, i.e. contains fluorocarbons.
"Gore-Tex and eVent, 2 widely recognized laminates, use membranes formed from ePTFE. ... •Expanded (i.e., stretched) polytetrafluoroethylene, or ePTFE (sometimes also referred to as PTFE). Most know it by its DuPont brand name: Teflon." http://www.rei.com/expertadvice/articles/rainwear+how+it+works.html
thanks for that link littleredcanoe.

From the same link, Marmot's PreCip rain jacket has a polyurethane coating, which does not contain PTFE.

Nikwax products do not contain fluorocarbons, and they have some fluorocarbon info on their website, first link is a history of the issue.
http://nikwax.com/en-ca/aboutus/persistentflurocarbondanger.php


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PostPosted: February 10th, 2012, 11:37 am 
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Recent studies have shown that saliva is carcinogenic, but only if swallowed in small quantities over a long period of time. :doh:

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PostPosted: February 10th, 2012, 1:28 pm 
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PK, my point is that 1 in 100 is a risk level that usually cannot be established as reliable and valid. It just shows that someone has published a paper where they have been messing with statistics and the journal editors let them by with it.

We used to release patients all the time who, on paper, had a 1 in 100 risk of commiting suicide, and it was the moral and ethical thing to do. The alternative was long term imprisonment.

On our river, many were "braving" the supposed 1 in 100 (or higher) risk, and apart from an occasional report of otitis externa, nobody was getting sick. If we let the NPS get away with that "high risk" stuff, we will lose many of our paddling and fishing days.


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PostPosted: February 11th, 2012, 12:39 pm 
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Here is the page from Marmot discussing Precip rainwear. http://marmot.com/product/content/precip

It uses polyurethane as the waterproof/breathable layer, but I would guess that the DWR is still a fluorocarbon. I wish more manufacturers were using something like Nikwax as the water repellent. Are you listening, Patagonia?

Fjallraven has a jacket that they claim does not use fluorocarbons. http://www.fjallraven.com/outdoor-equip ... ds--jacket
I don't know much about this company but they have some interesting looking stuff.


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PostPosted: February 11th, 2012, 8:01 pm 
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So pfcs are all over, inside and out, and once they're in our bodies, they stay a long time.

All facts, but doesn't tell me what cancer risk is associated. PFCs could cause cancer, but at such a low rate that I might still choose to use them. I'm grateful to manufacturers for making plans to eliminate them, but I don't have the data to tell how important it is. Remember sacharine and rat cancer? I still use sacharine.

There's statistically significant, and there's clinically significant. A study may show that a substance is associated with increased cancer occurence with statistical significance. That is, the results were unlikely to have occured by chance. That does not show whether the substance has a clinically significant effect on cancer occurence. Clinical significance isn't formally defined (and statistical significance is defined arbitrarily), but lots of us might accept a higher risk level than those sought by public health officials.

It appears to me that all we know from this discussion is that there may be a problem, but we don't know its extent, we don't know its mechanisms, and we don't know what to do about it. I intend to go on using my eVent and Goretex garments, and I'm not at all worried about doing so.


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PostPosted: February 12th, 2012, 11:45 am 
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Location: Ontario
Been Digging wrote:
Here is the page from Marmot discussing Precip rainwear. http://marmot.com/product/content/precip

It uses polyurethane as the waterproof/breathable layer, but I would guess that the DWR is still a fluorocarbon. I wish more manufacturers were using something like Nikwax as the water repellent. Are you listening, Patagonia?

Fjallraven has a jacket that they claim does not use fluorocarbons. http://www.fjallraven.com/outdoor-equip ... ds--jacket
I don't know much about this company but they have some interesting looking stuff.


Thanks for the link and info! I've since found a Canadian online store that carries some FjallRaven products, (but nothing for children):
http://www.ajbrooks.com/fjallraven-Eco-Tour-Jacket

Also discovered that Columbia Omni Tech products are polyurethane-coated but can't find much detail. No mention of PTFE though.


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PostPosted: February 12th, 2012, 11:58 am 
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Exercise is harmful to your health.

Roughly 1% of oxygen molecules escape oxidative respiration as deadly free radicals at resting rates. This 1% is believed to increase to a whopping 10% at higher levels of aerobic activity. Free radicals can damage DNA and lead to cancer. Not only that but they promote cross-linking between collagen molecules , which leads to wrinkling of the skin.

Oxygen free radicals and UV radiation work in exactly the same way. So, stay inside and don't exert yourself.

This has been a free community service announcement brought to you by the McDonalds Tobacco Company.


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PostPosted: February 12th, 2012, 12:06 pm 
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redstart mouser wrote:
So... 6 years later!

In light of recent research, just wondering if anyone has looked into which, if any, of the current waterproof breathable technologies do not use PFCs?


I just bought a waterproof pair of Cougar winter boots - PVC free.


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PostPosted: February 12th, 2012, 12:43 pm 
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ravenlunatic wrote:
redstart mouser wrote:
So... 6 years later!

In light of recent research, just wondering if anyone has looked into which, if any, of the current waterproof breathable technologies do not use PFCs?


I just bought a waterproof pair of Cougar winter boots - PVC free.



Chemistry confusion

pvc=polyvinyl chloride
PFC=perfluorochemicals..a family of substances. http://www.ewg.org/pfcdictionary

Lets keep the oranges out of the apple barrel.


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PostPosted: February 12th, 2012, 12:55 pm 
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littleredcanoe wrote:
ravenlunatic wrote:
redstart mouser wrote:
So... 6 years later!

In light of recent research, just wondering if anyone has looked into which, if any, of the current waterproof breathable technologies do not use PFCs?


I just bought a waterproof pair of Cougar winter boots - PVC free.



Chemistry confusion

pvc=polyvinyl chloride
PFC=perfluorochemicals..a family of substances. http://www.ewg.org/pfcdictionary

Lets keep the oranges out of the apple barrel.


Gimme a P....
Gimme a V...
Gimme a C...
P V C !
Gimme a P
Gimme a F
Gimme a C
PFC !

PVC...PFC...BBC
>
>
>
>
>
MIC...KEY...MOUSE ...hey!
:)

Its all greek to me. But it is still a health(ier) choice IMO. And its waterproof.


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PostPosted: February 13th, 2012, 10:20 pm 
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Location: Missouri, U.S.A
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All facts, but doesn't tell me what cancer risk is associated. PFCs could cause cancer, but at such a low rate that I might still choose to use them. I'm grateful to manufacturers for making plans to eliminate them, but I don't have the data to tell how important it is. Remember sacharine and rat cancer? I still use sacharine.


I wish that, as a consumer, I had the information to make an informed choice. Manufacturers are not very forthcoming about whether their products contain PFC's or not.

I get that DWR's perform a useful function for waterproof/breathable outdoor clothing. But it seems like DWR's are used frivolously, especially considering that health concerns have been raised. Do I really need DWR on swimming trunks, or the jacket I wear to the grocery store?


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PostPosted: October 30th, 2012, 12:02 pm 
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Location: Ontario
http://www.greenpeace.org/romania/Global/romania/detox/Chemistry%20for%20any%20weather.pdf

In case you missed it... Greenpeace's "Chemistry for any Weather" report on perfluorinated toxins in outdoor jackets.

BTW, the "mountain equipment" in the report is NOT our canadian Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC).


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PostPosted: November 1st, 2012, 5:14 am 
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Location: Simcoe, Ontario Canada
It's VERY dangerous. If you have high-end breathable rainwear, size large, preferably in orange, in really good shape,send it to me and I will be happy to take care of it for you. :wink:

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