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Nonprofit says it discovered high levels of BPA in athletic apparel

The Center for Environmental Health launched a petition requesting that the CEOs of major companies take BPA out of their products.
Nonprofit says it discovered high levels of BPA in athletic apparel
Posted at 11:27 AM, May 18, 2023

There are fresh concerns about the potential health impacts caused by athletic apparel. 

The Center for Environmental Health, a nonprofit organization, says it tested 14 brands of leggings, shorts, sports bras and athletic shirts for BPA — an industrial chemical used in the manufacturing of plastics. The results, the nonprofits says, showed the clothing could expose people to up to 40 times the safe limit of BPA, according to California law. 

The tested apparel included leggings from Athleta, Champion, Kohl’s, Nike and Patagonia; sports bras from Sweaty Betty; athletic shirts from Fabletics; and shorts from Adidas, Champion and Nike, according to the organization. 

Proposition 65 requires California to maintain an updated list of chemicals that are known to cause cancer or reproductive problems. 

Under the law, the maximum allowable level of BPA is 3 micrograms per day, a figure that the nonprofit says is exceeded in the clothing it tested. 

SEE MORE: New study says BPA and its alternatives may not be so different

“Studies have shown that BPA can be absorbed through skin and end up in the bloodstream after handling receipt paper for seconds or a few minutes at a time," said Kaya Allan Sugerman, illegal toxic threats program director at the Center for Environmental Health. "Sports bras and athletic shirts are worn for hours at a time, and you are meant to sweat in them, so it is concerning to be finding such high levels of BPA in our clothing.”

The nonprofit says it sent legal notices to the manufacturers of the clothing. It has also started a petition that calls for the CEOs of major companies, like Adidas and Nike, to take BPA out of their products. 

Scripps News has reached out to the companies for a response to the claims by the Center for Environmental Health and is awaiting a response. 

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