Jan 26, 2016

By Jane Brown

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Greenpeace is calling on manufacturers of waterproof outdoor gear to eliminate hazardous chemicals in the products.

The environmental group says high levels of cancer causing contaminants were detected in most of the products tested.

A new study found high concentrations of PFCs (per- and poly-fluorinated chemicals) in jackets, tents, backpacks and sleeping bags.

The products are made by some of the world’s biggest outdoor brands, including North Face, Arc’Teryx, Patagonia, Mammut and Columbia.

Only four of the forty items tested did not contain the chemical believed to be dangerous to human health and the environment and none of these PFC-free products are available in Canada.

In response, North Face says its been testing alternatives and has set a goal to remove PFCs from all clothing materials by 2020, three years later than the goal date set by Greenpeace.

Vancouver based Arc’Teryx says the industry agreed in 2006 to phase out the more harmful of the PFCs by using other alternatives that while imperfect are a step in the right direction.

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