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Health And Medical

High Degrees of PFAS ‘Forever’ Chemicals in Kids’ School Uniforms

By Sydney Murphy HealthDay Reporter

HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 21, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Your children’s school clothes may look neat, but are they safe to wear?


Researchers found high degrees of dangerous chemicals called per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in school uniforms sold across THE UNITED STATES. These chemicals that may build-up in people and the surroundings over time could be bad for health. They’re trusted in consumer and industrial products, and textiles.

Examining a number of children’s textiles, the researchers found fluorine in 65% of samples tested. Concentrations were highest in school uniforms, especially those labeled 100% cotton.

That which was surprising concerning this band of samples was the high detection frequency of PFAS in the garments necessary for children to wear, said study co-author Graham Peaslee, a professor of physics at the University of Notre Dame. Children certainly are a vulnerable population with regards to chemicals of concern, and nobody knows these textiles are increasingly being treated with PFAS along with other toxic chemicals.

Textile manufacturers use PFAS to create fabrics more stain-resistant and durable.

Referred to as “forever chemicals,” they are linked to an elevated risk of health issues, including a weakened disease fighting capability, asthma, obesity and issues with brain development and behavior. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention routinely detects PFAS in blood samples from children between your ages of 3 and 11.

The researchers estimated that 20% of public schools in the usa require students to wear uniforms, putting an incredible number of children at greater threat of contact with toxic chemicals. They could be exposed through skin connection with PFAS-treated clothing, inhalation or ingestion.

This study viewed 72 examples of products bought online in THE UNITED STATES in 2020 and 2021. The investigators viewed products whose labels said these were resistant to water, stains, wind or wrinkles.

Besides uniforms, the merchandise tested included outerwear like rainsuits, snowsuits and mittens; accessories like bibs, hats and baby shoes; along with sweatshirts, swimwear and stroller covers.

The analysis authors added that more study is required to understand how chemical concentrations change over an eternity useful and laundering.


There is absolutely no consumer substitute for purchase clothing which can be washed rather than clothing that comes coated with chemicals to lessen stains, Peaslee said. Hopefully among the outcomes of the work will be increased labeling of textiles to totally inform the purchaser of the chemicals used to take care of the fabric ahead of sale so consumers be capable of pick garments which were not treated with chemicals because of their children.

The things were screened for fluorine using particle-induced gamma-ray emission (PIGE) spectroscopy, in accordance with a university news release. Peaslee’s lab has used the technique to detect PFAS in cosmetics, junk food packaging, face masks and firefighting gear.

As the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has had steps to possess forever chemicals officially declared as hazardous, they’re almost impossible in order to avoid. The study is really a reminder that PFAS remain found in consumer and industrial products and they stay in the surroundings.

Scientists from Notre Dame, Indiana University, the University of Toronto and the Green Science Policy Institute collaborated on the analysis. They published their findings Sept. 21 in Environmental Science and Technology Letters.

More info

IPEN offers more info on harmful chemical compounds such as for example PFAS.

SOURCE: University of Notre Dame, news release, Sept. 21, 2022

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