A variety of popular brands of sports bras and athletic wear were tested for high levels of BPA. This chemical compound is used to make certain types of plastics. It can cause adverse health effects like asthma, heart disease, and obesity.
Athleta and PINK, Asics and The North Face, Brooks and All in Motion, Nike, and FILA all sold sports bras. The clothing was tested for BPA for six months. According to the Center for Environmental Health, the clothing may have been exposed to as much as 22 times the safe limit. The CEH is a non-profit consumer advocacy organization that focuses on the exposure of toxic chemicals in consumer products.
California law, specifically Proposition 65, stipulates that the maximum allowed skin exposure to BPA is 3 micrograms daily.
The group also tried athletic shirts from Brooks, Mizuno, and Athleta brands, and came up with similar results.
Wednesday’s CEH statement stated that it had sent legal notices and instructions to the companies. They will have 60 days to comply with the center’s requests before the group files a California state court complaint.
The watchdog has not yet found BPA in spandex-containing clothing made from polyester. “We ask brands to reformulate all their products to eliminate bisphenols, including BPA. The group suggested that activewear should be worn only for a short time and that you change after your workout.
Athleta and Nike, Reebok, The North Face, Victoria’s Secret, and Reebok did not immediately respond to our request for comment.
BPA (Bisphenol A), is found in many everyday products. These include water bottles, canned foods, toys, and flooring. Adults are at risk for developing diabetes, heart disease, and obesity, as well as erectile dysfunction.
A 2020 study also found that BPA exposure was associated with premature death. Recent studies have linked BPA to asthma in school-aged girls.
Kaya Allan Sugerman, CEH’s director of illegal toxic threats, stated in a statement that people are exposed to BPA by ingestion.
Studies have shown that BPA can easily be absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream. This is even after handling receipt paper for a few seconds or minutes. Allan Sugerman stated that athletic shirts and sports bras are worn for long periods and are subject to sweating.
The group asked over 90 companies (including Walgreens and socks) to reformulate their products to eliminate all bisphenols including BPA. Some companies have already agreed.
“Even low levels [of exposure] to BPA during pregnancy have been associated with a variety of health issues in offspring,” Dr. Jimena Diaz Leiva (science director at CEH) said.
CEH is a California-based plaintiff under the Clean Drinking Water and Toxics Enforcement Act (86). However, CEH claims that the repercussions from its settlements go beyond California because it is often financially impossible for companies to reformulate the California market.
The group released a statement saying that it had succeeded in getting entire industries to stop using certain chemicals in toys and candy for children. These cases are not only designed to protect Californian consumers, but also the rest of the country.