Greenpeace Detox Resumes Focus on Outdoor Brands

Greenpeace Detox Resumes Focus on Outdoor Brands

Greenpeace has dispatched staff on an expedition to seven mountains around the world to collect water and snow samples and test them for PFCs as part of its Detox Campaign, which has been urging outdoor performance brands to stop using the chemicals to waterproof their gear since at least 2011.

Greenpeace said that in some cases it will collaborate with alpine associations or other volunteer groups to determine how widespread and out of control the problem of PFCs contamination is.

“PFCs can persist in the environment for millions of years and future generations will continue to be exposed via contaminated water, air and food,” Greenpeace’s Gabriele Salari wrote in a June 3 blog entry. “They are already found deep in the ocean, on mountain tops, and in nearly all living creatures. Once these extremely persistent toxic chemicals are released into the environment during industrial production, there is no going back. ”

Greenpeace will travel in May and June to collect samples from alpine lakes in Asia, Europe and South America.

Destinations include:

the Haba Snow Mountains in China,
the oldest national park in the Swiss Alps,
the Sibillini National Park in the Italian Apennines,
the High Tatras Mountains in central Europe,
the Golden Mountains of Altai in Russia,
the  Torres del Paine mountains in Chile and
Treriksroset – the point at which the borders of Sweden, Norway and Finland meet.
“With this new challenge, we want people involved who are passionate about outdoor sports,” wrote Salari. “We want anyone who wears a waterproof jacket, even if it’s just to take their dog for a walk in the park. We want them to know that what they wear harms the environment.”

In May, more than 200 scientists from 38 countries signed the so-called  “Madrid Statement,” which calls for eliminating PFCs from the production of all consumer products, including textiles. Outdoor apparel brands have been working on alternatives for years but sat they have so far not found any viable substitutes.