understanding pfas

understanding pfas

Dive into the complex world of PFAS to understand their structure, their use, and above all, the resulting issues they generate on our health and  environment.

Also find the “PFAS free” alternatives offered by BOCHE, manufacturer of intervention shoes for firefighters.

what are pfas ? 

Since the 1950s, industry sector has widely adopted the use of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), components that are bioaccumulative and extremely persistent in our environment. Known as “eternal pollutants”, PFAS are found in day to day products such as non-stick coatings (like Teflon®), sealants, and waterproof fabrics. These substances represent a growing concern for public health and environmental integrity due to their extreme durability and negative ecological impact.

Aware of these issues, we at BOCHE made the decision to renounce using PFAS more than 20 years ago. This early initiative reflects our ongoing commitment to protect the environment and the health of our customers. Our collaboration with Sympatex® is a pillar of our eco-responsible approach. Together, we have integrated PFAS-free waterproof-breathable membranes, among the most efficient on the market.


PFAS: substances created by humans

PFAS are recognized for their unique properties which make them very useful in several areas:

  • Waterproofing: Thanks to their ability to repel water, PFAS are often used in coatings applications for clothing, shoes and textiles industries to make them waterproof. Whether for rain gear, sports equipment or even tents, PFAS provide effective protection against water.


  • Anti-stick: Surfaces treated with PFAS prevent food and other substances from sticking, making them ideal for cookware like non-stick pans and pots.


  • Resistance to oily substances: PFAS provide protection against oils and greases, which is particularly useful in the food industry and for packaging that requires an oil-resistant barrier.


  • Flame retardants: These molecules also improve safety by delaying flame spread of coated materials, a crucial characteristic for textiles used in high-risk environments, such as firefighter clothing and certain furniture.


PFAS exemplify human ingenuity in creating solutions to face modern challenges. Their diverse applications and exceptional properties make them practically essential in many aspects of our daily lives, pushing scientists and manufacturers to look for safer alternatives and to rethink their use to minimize ecological impacts while retaining the practical benefits that these molecules offer.

PFAS therefore continue to play a crucial role in many sectors while being at the heart of a significant debate on their management and their future in our society.

Proven and suspected effects of PFAS on health

The production, use and waste management of PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) membranes raise serious concerns regarding their impact on public health. These materials are associated with significant health risks, including cancers, miscarriages, birth defects in newborns, reduced effectiveness of vaccinations, and weakened immune systems.

In the European Union, technologies such as GenX are classified as substances of very high concern due to their harmful effects. This situation highlights the need to reconsider current industrial practices and develop safer alternatives for the production of synthetic materials such as PTFE, while ensuring rigorous and responsible management of their life cycle.

(Source: Sympatex® Rapport PTFE April 2021)



Boche: PFAS-free alternatives for your intervention shoes


At BOCHE, quality and environmental safety go hand in hand with innovation.
Our polyester membranes, are not only PFAS free, but also designed to be easily recyclable, reducing their ecological footprint throughout their lifetime.

Additionally, we've equipped some of our products with rigorously tested and certified PFAS-free leather linings, ensuring your feet are safe and comfortable with every step.


The secret of BOCHE Fire Brigade boots and shoes? They are designed without PFAS!

Alternative 1: the Sympatex® membrane


For more than 20 years

  • 100% WINDPROOF


Alternative 2: leather lining


For more than 60 years


Our commitment to safe, sustainable and environmental friendly products is the core foundation of our brand. We invite you to discover our range of eco-responsible products and to join our approach for a greener future.

At BOCHE, walk with confidence, walk with awareness.