Low tox Gumboots and rain wear
I’m not sure many people think too hard about buying their kids or themselves a rain coat or gumboots. If there is an area when I can limit a potential exposure, I will. When I learnt there are better options for Gumboots, I jumped at it as I needed to replace both my kids gumboots in 2021.
Did you know most gumboots are made from PVC? What is PVC? PVC, is called polyvinyl chloride, a synthetic resin made from the polymerisation of vinyl chloride.
PVC can be hard and rigid, or it can be extremely flexible. It’s flexibility depends whether or not phthalates are added during production to make it soft and squishy like in gumboots and raincoats.
Phthalate exposures in humans have been linked to changes in sex hormone levels, altered development of genitals, and low sperm count and quality. Not something you want to be exposing your children too.
The goods news is, there are better options available. Companies making better choices for our children and the environment. PVC is the most environmentally damaging plastic. The PVC lifecycle results in the release of toxic, chlorine-based chemicals into the environment.
PVC never disappears. Items made from PVC like gumboots and rain coats and kids plastic umbrellas will retain their form for decades and the breakdown that occurs is just granulation of the pieces. They simply become smaller and turn into micro plastics.
Just process that for a second, almost every pair of gumboots ever made (of PVC) is still somewhere on this earth in landfill and will NEVER go away!
It is forecasted that the global market size of PVC will grow to nearly 60 million metric tons in 2025.
The solution? Natural rubber. Natural rubber is rubber produced by plants, the Hevea brasiliensis. Natural rubber is one of the most important polymers for human society. Natural rubber is an essential raw material used in the creation of more than 40,000 products. They will degrade over time, but the soles of rubber boots for example can still take up to 80 years.
Whilst it’s considered the best low tox option, the natural rubber trees are under threat from over harvesting and they are also very susceptible to disease.
If your looking to replace rain gear here are some brands I can recommend:
@welliesau Natural rubber with neoprene lining
@merrypeople Natural rubber, neoprene lining and vegan glue
@frenchandsoda rubber gumboots
@bata wow they recycle old gumboots! Made in Mornington peninsula. They make new PVC boots from old PVC boots
Second hand! Jump onto market place, gumtree or second hand shops and pick up some second hand gear, it would have had time to offgass however it may still contain phthalates.