However, the ongoing concerns and heightened regulation of perfluorocarbons and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFCs and PFASs), is driving the textile market to search for sustainable alternative chemistries. There is a clear demand for alternative, greener, durable water repellents (DWR) for textiles.
The current state of the art that offers the highest level of repellency for both oil and water resistance has been achieved using highly fluorinated chemical substances. Unfortunately, the best performing PFCs, known as C8 due to the 8 carbon atoms in their backbone chain, also raise significant health and environmental concerns that surround the loss of fluorinated by-products from textiles.
The concern of toxic releases is throughout the lifecycle of the product, from production to end-of-life. The by-products are known to be bioaccumulative and extremely persistent in the environment/food chain and are possibly carcinogenic.