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He is not involved in the lawsuit, and won't be because, while he has used Scent-Lok clothing, he's never purchased it, he said. However, Michels has questioned the performance of the clothing with the U.S. Patent Office and has posted numerous exchanges he's had with the company on his website and others.
He said outdoor magazines won't write about the issue for fear of losing lucrative advertising dollars for the hunting clothing, and that he has lost freelance work because of his stance.
Everyone claims science is on their side.
ALS has created a new section on the company's website (www.scentlok.com) to explain how the activated carbon adsorbs human odors. (Adsorption is the adhesion of the gas or liquid molecules to the surfaces of solids.) Andrews said independent experts have verified the company's findings.
"It does work as described," Andrews said. "Unfortunately some people refuse to look at the data we've provided."
No one disputes that activated carbon adsorbs odors. But even ALS acknowledges the carbon can become saturated with odors. Andrews says the company's clothing can be "regenerated" or "reactivated" many times by putting it in a regular household dryer for 45 minutes. Then it's ready to adsorb more odors.
"We know that even after several years of use, it still has enough adsorption capacity to overcome big game animals' [scenting ability]," Andrews said.
But the lawsuit and Michels dispute that.
The suit says that dryer temperatures never exceed 150 degrees, but temperatures in excess of 800 degrees are needed to reactivate the carbon, and even then it wouldn't be restored to full adsorptive capacity.
The suit doesn't cite any independent testing done on the clothing that shows it doesn't work.
"Defendants knew or should have known that their odor-eliminating clothing cannot, as a matter of science, eliminate all human odors ... or render a human body scent-invisible to a deer or other game animals," the suit states.
The suit says that had hunters known that the clothing doesn't eliminate all human odors and cannot be regenerated in household dryers, they wouldn't have bought it.
The suit also claims the defendants violated the Minnesota Consumer Fraud Act, the Minnesota Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act, the Minnesota Unlawful Trade Practices Act and involved civil conspiracy.
Andrews said ALS will vigorously fight the suit.
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