View Full Version : Are my pants slowly trying to killing me?
03-12-2009, 12:39 AM
I have always loved wearing Dickies work pants on the job. They hold up well, look pretty sharp and come in many colors. Unfortunatly some genius told me recently that the scotchgard stain repellent applied to the pants at the factory has a chemical called pfos in it which is linked to all kinds of unpleasantness. Are my pants slowly trying to kill me?
03-12-2009, 12:42 AM
My pants have been slowly strangling me for years.
03-12-2009, 12:53 AM
Copy & Pasting:
Scotchgard is a 3M brand of products used to protect fabric, furniture, and carpets.
The original formula for Scotchgard was discovered accidentally in 1952 by 3M chemists Patsy Sherman and Samuel Smith. Sales began in 1956, and in 1973 the two chemists received a patent for the formula.
In 1999, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began an investigation into the class of chemicals used in Scotchgard, after receiving information on the global distribution and toxicity of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), the key ingredient of Scotchgard. For these reasons, in May 2000, 3M announced the phaseout of the production of PFOA, PFOS, and PFOS-related products.
3M reformulated Scotchgard and since June 2003 has replaced PFOS with perfluorobutanesulfonic acid (PFBS). PFBS has a much shorter half-life in people than PFOS (a little over one month vs. 5.4 years). This action by 3M sharply reduced the bioaccumulative potential of Scotchgard. PFOS is now a persistent organic pollutant (POP) candidate before the Stockholm Convention.
So it looks like whatever possible damage it might be doing has, at least, been significantly decreased.
In animal studies PFOS causes cancer, physical development delays, endocrine disruption, and neonatal mortality; neonatal mortality might be the most dramatic result of laboratory animal tests with PFOS. PFOS has also reduced the birth size of animals in studies and a link between human birth weights and PFOS levels has been established.
So it seems that the greatest risk is in childbirth. I'd suspect that this largely is an issue if the female has a high level of PFOS, but I could be wrong.
But I doubt that you are being exposed to it in a way that would be dangerous--though probably you are getting a higher dose than most people. The big worries would probably be (and note that I'm talking out my ass) ingesting it, like animals do if they're gnawing on old clothes, or getting exposed to it as an aerosol, like someone who works at a factory which produces cloths.
Overall, I definitely wouldn't recommend eating your pants, and I might suggest that you save water resistant clothes for rainy days.
03-12-2009, 12:41 PM
Thanks for the reply Sage Rat. I have done a little research and all I could come up with was some eco-nutty websites that suggest making your own organic clothing, growing your own food and importing your own fresh air from Alaska. They even suggest that wrinkle free clothes, gore-tex and other water proof outerwear are sprayed with teflon and other nasty chemicals. And don't forget those dry cleaning chemicals they can't be healthy. Unfortunalty my wife won't allow me to live in a bubble. She says bubbles don't get HBO and she needs her cable tv.
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