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Replacement of fluorine derivatives need to be approached for sustainable concern


Reducing chemical risks in the everyday environment is now a concern that has to take initiative in environmental sustainability. Especially, the unnecessary byproducts from highly related substances which are released from industries like chemical, making an issue as an environmental risk for toxic substances.

Alternative fluorine derivatives for sustainability
Figure: C6’- cross-linking agents create short-chain fluorine-based formulations that are widely used to repel oil and water used in textiles.

The impact of emerging industrialization causes a long-term problem for our environment. Simulations of long-chain substances combine a unique characteristic with oregano radical, which provide low reactivity and high polarity.

This substance tends to be slowly broken down in the environment and therefore many are considered toxic due to poor biodegradability. The byproducts nature of these substances causes poor biodegradability due to the impact of further combination with oregano radical.

Use of fluorine derivatives in textile

The use of highly fluorinated substances in the fire-fighting foam is particularly used as it involves direct release into the environment. These substances as like per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances, (PFAS) are also used in many different articles, as like in chemical products and also in textiles due to their attractive properties.

They are repellent to water, grease, dirt and temperature resistant and film-forming. They are also applied in padding, kiss coating, spray, foam and exhaust.

The reason of poor biodegradability in carbon and fluorine bond

Fluorine has a small radius and high electronegativity. So, the covalent bond between fluorine and carbon is extremely stable. When fluorine is replaced by other elements such as H and C, in the order –CF3<CF2H<CF2<CH3<CH2, the surface free energy is increased.

Therefore, at present, the impregnation of textiles with fluorine-containing polymer dispersions or solutions is the most applied technique. But the relatively low reactivity and high polarity of the carbon-fluorine bond imparts unique characteristics to fluorocarbons. So, fluorocarbons tend to be slowly broken down in the environment and therefore many are considered persistent organic pollutants.

Impact of poor bio-degradability caused by fluorine chain derivatives

A report showed by Ecotextile News that, the short-chain of fluorine as PFHxA- provide degraded product from the intermediates used to produce some short-chain fluorinated polymers (i.e., C6) – could be restricted by EU as early as 2021 and may be phased out altogether by 2025.

There are also other possible sources of the highly fluorinated substances that are found in humans and in the environment. Highly fluorinated substances can cause very long-term problems in the environment by contaminating groundwater and subsequently drinking water.

It is suspected that drinking water with high levels of these substances can increase the risk of adverse health effects, affecting, for example, the thyroid gland, the liver, fat metabolism and the immune system

In a separate report from Frankfurt-based independent testing, the house has shown that highly- toxic hydrofluoric acid (HF, up to 63 ppm) and hydrochloric acid (HCL, up to 36ppm) are released at high concentrations hen incinerating PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) membranes.

The study notes that the IDLH value (immediately dangerous to life or health) for these gases is set at 30 ppm by EU occupational exposure guidelines (2000/39/EC).

People in low-income countries could be exposed to highly toxic gases from the uncontrolled incineration of outdoor clothing made with fluorine-based membranes. Because around the half of the textiles are collected globally being sent to low-income countries for resale.

Replacement of fluorine high substances in coating

As hydrosin is the fluorine-free chemical substance which can block isocyanate. This can be used as cross-linking agents for various coating applications that require heat curing cycles. Those applications include increased durable water repellent (DWR) effect and soil release properties. The durability and adhesion of coatings are also improved. The properties of these cross-linking agents:

  • Improve durable water (DWR) effects.
  • Improve soil release properties.
  • Improve the resistance to chemical and environmental attack.
  • Improve the durability of coatings and adhesive in aqueous pad applications.
  • Improve the resistance of blood and saline penetration in woven and non-woven fabrics.
  • Require heat curing cycles.

Based on the evidence presented concerning the effect of fluorine high substance, we have to find out a replacement with containing PFEAS and other regrettable of fluorine derivatives substances to keep safe our environment.

If anyone has any feedback or input regarding the published news, please contact: info@textiletoday.com.bd

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