MIDWOR-LIFE - Mitigation of Environmental Impact caused by DWOR textile finishing chemicals studying their non-toxic alternatives
DWOR (Durable Water and Oil Repellents) are textile finishing products made of long chain fluorocarbon polymers to give repellency to water, oil and dirt to fabrics. These chemicals are persistent and bioaccumulative. Many perfluorochemicals have already been listed in different European regulations to put emphasis on their risk for humans and the environment.
These products have been used in the textile industry since many years ago and tentative to replace them has been done since 2000. Alternative products are currently proposed by different chemical companies for textile applications, however, the toxicity and environmental impact of these new alternatives is still unknown. The substitution of toxic and persistent perfluorochemicals is of high importance as they occupy a high place in the market and almost all alternatives are perfluorocarbons based products (fluorocarbons polymers with shorter chain length).
The main objective of the project is to mitigate the environmental, health and safety impacts of current and future Durable Water and Oil Repellents (DWOR) alternatives by analyzing their environmental impact and technical performances in order to assess manufacturers on the best available technologies for repellent finishing. Moreover, the risks of the DWOR alternatives will be evaluated for human and environmental health in the textile finishing industry. In this perspective, policy recommendations will be set in order to promote the widespread implementation of the less toxic and most effective DWOR alternatives to fulfill REACH Regulation.
Experimentally, this process will be developed divided into four main parts which are i) the selection of the finishing additives and textile materials, ii) the pre-industrial demonstration of the finishing applications, iii) the industrial demonstration of the finishing applications and iv) validation on site, at industrial scale of the risk assessment of the project finishing applications.
MIDWOR-LIFE is a project co-funded by the European Community under the LIFE+ Financial Instrument within the axe Environment Policy and Governance and under the Grant Agreement n. LIFE14 ENV/ES/000670