Fluorocarbons are often used as impregnation on textiles to repel water and dirt. Impregnation changes the surface tension of the garment so that water forms droplets and runs off.
The disadvantage is that these chemicals also have other, less desirable, properties.
Fluorocarbons are chemically stable which means that they are not broken down in the environment, but rather that they spread and are stored in living organisms. There is also research that shows that they can affect reproduction systems and hormone production in mammals. They are suspected to cause cancer and can travel long distances – they have been found all the way up in the Arctic region.
This is the reason behind Fjällräven’s decision to only use fluorocarbon-free impregnation in all products.
Ask for a fluorocarbon-free impregnation product in your outdoor store next time you are going to impregnate your jacket. You can choose between products that you wash into the garments, and others that you spray on.