Is this the end of waterproof clothing? The EU decided that it harms people, and bang! Here comes the ban. The story with this bizarre headline was published recently on Facebook by five disinformation media sites simultaneously – Kanály AC24.cz, Stop Mediální Manipulaci (Stop the Media Manipulation), Svět Kolem Nás (The World around Us) and Česi a Slováci Podporujú Ruský Krym (Czechs and Slovak Support Russian Crimea). The next day, the Facebook site Sloveni followed suit. The text comes from the Lajkit.cz server, which took the story from the Eurozpravy.cz disinformation website.
The story is noteworthy for two reasons: it is grossly distorted and it is a wonderful example of how “alternative” media collect likes on Facebook.
We will not get wet
No, waterproof clothes will not come to an end. The European Commission only banned the use of a group of chemicals – i.e. perfluorinated compounds (PFC). These substances are used today to create the textile known under the brand name Gore-Tex. Several bigger clothing companies use these substances in their products and will soon have to find a replacement for this compound. However, it will take several years for this ban to take full effect. The Eurozpravy.cz website admits this fact but published this information along with the absurd and speculative headline that waterproof clothes will come to an end.
Claiming that the EU decided that perfluorinated compounds are detrimental to health is troublesome, too: the harmfulness of a chemical does not depend on the decision of any European body.