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Concerned About Risky Chemicals in Your Textiles? Get PFOS Testing ASAP!

Perfluorooctane sulfonic acids (PFOS) are anions (negatively charged atoms or radicals) that are available commercially as salts, polymers and derivatives. The substances that use these PFOS are primarily found in commercial household products: stain and water repellent fabrics, nonstick products (e.g. Teflon), polishes, waxes, paints, cleaning products, and fire fighting foams. Several other smaller uses are photography, chromium plating, photolithography and hydraulic fluids for aviation.

1. Overview of PFOS testing

PFOS testing is available for and can be extraordinarily important when dealing with products in the following categories:

  • Footwear
  • Clothing
  • Bags and luggage
  • Leather Goods
  • Jewelry
  • Upholstery

The ability to test consumer products for PFOS to 1µg/m2, enables textile testing labs to provide support to customers who must deal with international chemical and product safety legislation compliance. In fact these testing labs can provide invaluable support and guidance to any business dealing with testing standards for textiles. 

2. Importance of PFOS testing

PFOS has been classified as a persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic substance and it is regulated as a Persistent Organic Pollutant (POP). In fact PFOS is so toxic that it has now been banned for use in many of its previous applications. PFOS is known to be moderately toxic if ingested, with hepatotoxicity as the main health effect, usually in the liver and gastrointestinal tract. PFOS has also been shown to have carcinogenic properties in cases of very high exposure levels. Other studies have shown that PFOS causes a suppression of the human immune system especially in adolescents and can lead to long term health problems. Dermal exposure has resulted in skin irritation.

Another persistent problem with PFOS is that its compounds break down into Perfluorooctane sulfonate – a pollutant known as a persistent organic pollutant (POP). When POPs get introduced into the environment, they are extremely difficult to get rid of, instead their toxic effects persist long into the future. POPs are also able to cross international boundaries by air and water currents potentially leading to a bioaccumulation of toxic levels in plants and animals.

Therefore it is important to test for these harmful chemicals in order to mitigate their harmful effects on human health and our environment.

3. Why PFOS Testing for Harmful Substances in Textiles Matters

There are two main reasons that testing textiles for PFOS matters. The first is to protect people who are wearing clothes made of fabrics that have had PFOS applied to them as a water/oil repellent from exposure to this dangerous substance. We need to keep these textiles out of the marketplace but we can only identify which fabrics are contaminated by testing them. 

The second reason is that we need to protect the environment from the PFOS that gets washed out of the clothing when they are washed. The PFOS then enters the water supply and the general environment where it tends to accumulate and definitely persists as a toxin for decades. 

While most of these products have been banned from use, there are still ways in a global economy for contaminated fabrics to be imported into the country without knowing that they are contaminated unless they are tested by a textile testing lab to confirm that they meet the testing standards for textiles in the United States.  

4. Conclusion

When you are in need of meeting testing standards for textiles, fabrics or leathers for PFOS it is vitally important to seek a laboratory with unmatched certifications, TAT & quality.

Torrent Laboratory is your textile testing lab providing the most advanced capabilities in the region. Our full-service lab offers many advantages including: 

  • Fastest possible TAT in the industry
  • Unrivaled technical and customer support
  • Unparalleled on-time performance
  • Impeccable quality 
  • Competitive pricing 
  • Convenient geographic location

Trust Torrent as your premier environmental testing laboratory for California, Hawaii and beyond. 

Our capabilities. Your peace of mind.

With dual-certified PFAA testing for the full list of PFAA compounds, Torrent Laboratory offers accurate assessment of PFAS in your environment. Our full-service lab also offers the fastest turnaround time in the industry. So you get the information you need—faster.