On October 30th, the European project MIDWOR-LIFE, led by AEI TÈXTILS (the cluster of technical textiles in Catalonia), presented its main results in a webinar organized by the perfluorinated substances working group from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The webinar was attended by 40 experts worldwide from different institutions including the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), among others.
The technological centers LEITAT and CETIM, on behalf of the consortium, presented the results at a technical level, the environmental impact and the ones related to occupational risks of the different finishing products providing liquid repellency.
Ruth Garcia, researcher on Advanced Materials at LEITAT, presented the objectives of the project and its structure, the different chemical products, textile materials and markets selected for the study, as well as the results of the technical tests of water and oil repellency highlighting the fluoride-free products as technically viable alternatives to provide water repellency.
She was followed by Julio Fierro, researcher of the Environmental Area at CETIM. He explained the results of the life cycle analysis (LCA) for the six liquid repellent products (3 fluorinated and 3 alternatives). He highlighted the mitigation of the environmental impact achieved through the use of fluorine-free substances.
Gemma Janer, researcher on Safety and Sustainability at LEITAT, continued with the analysis of occupational risks related to the use of the different substances. She highlighted the lack of information suffered by textile finishing companies in the safety sheets of the different products analyzed, particularly in products which will soon be restricted in the European Union.
Finally, Marc Torrentellé, Sustainability Project Manager at LEITAT, together with Gemma Janer, presented the recommendations of the legislative and voluntary framework that emerged from the learnings of the project.
The results of MIDWOR-LIFE that were presented during the webinar are available in public reports on the project website and summarized in the Layman’s Report; the latter is available in English, Spanish, Catalan, Italian and Czech. The recording of the webinar is available at: http://www.oecd.org/chemicalsafety/portal-perfluorinated-chemicals/webinars/