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Fluorine-containing textiles (13/02/22 13:41:09)
    "Gore-Tex was co-invented by Wilbert L. Gore and Gore's son, Robert W. Gore.[1] In 1969, Bob Gore stretched heated rods of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) and created expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE). His discovery of the right conditions for stretching PTFE was a happy accident, born partly of frustration. Instead of slowly stretching the heated material, he applied a sudden, accelerating yank. The solid PTFE unexpectedly stretched about 800%, forming a microporous structure that was about 70% air.[1] It was introduced to the public under the trademark Gore-Tex." (Wikipedia)

    Polytetrafluoroethene is a wonderful material - with enormously valuable properties. Low-friction surfaces, water- and fat-repellant, lightweight, formable, chemically inert.


    "Recycling: PTFE membranes, in contrast to technically equivalent alternatives in the laminate
    structures relevant to the textile industry, cannot yet be recycled in an ecologically and economically sensible way. As a result, they (and all materials permanently bonded to them, e.g. by lamination) represent barriers to the EU [9] and its Member States future objectives regarding recycling, recycled content, recyclability for the textile and footwear industry. They also represent high hazards in recycling streams not controlled by high level environmental standards, or through individual burning of garments and shoes in the open air. Therefore the contact of innocent third parties with highly toxic hydrofluoric acid cannot be excluded. [10]

    And - to emphasise: Hydrofluoric acid, which is a combustion product, is an extremely nasty substance.

    "Because of the ability of hydrofluoric acid to penetrate tissue, poisoning can occur readily through exposure of skin or eyes, or when inhaled or swallowed. Symptoms of exposure to hydrofluoric acid may not be immediately evident, and this can provide false reassurance to victims, causing them to delay medical treatment.[24] Despite having an irritating odor, HF may reach dangerous levels without an obvious odor.[5] HF interferes with nerve function, meaning that burns may not initially be painful. Accidental exposures can go unnoticed, delaying treatment and increasing the extent and seriousness of the injury.[24] Symptoms of HF exposure include irritation of the eyes, skin, nose, and throat, eye and skin burns, rhinitis, bronchitis, pulmonary edema (fluid buildup in the lungs), and bone damage.[25]"

    I think it is somewhat inaccurate, but not with regard to the nastiness of the substance. Burning GoreTex garments in a bonfire is not a responsible way of getting rid of old clothes.

    Even GoreTex has seen the warnings

    although not entirely convincing, specially because competitors have non-fluorinated products.

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Fluorine-containing textiles