In a startling revelation, a consumer advocacy group has unveiled a disquieting truth about the presence of Bisphenol A (BPA), a potentially harmful chemical, in popular athletic shorts and leggings. The Center for Environmental Health (CEH) has expanded its list of sportswear brands found to contain alarming levels of BPA, prompting growing concerns regarding the well-being of consumers who unknowingly wear these products.
BPA, extensively utilized in the manufacturing of certain plastics, has permeated almost every industry. The CEH’s earlier investigation in October exposed 11 brands of sports bras and shirts that exceeded California’s safety standards for BPA. As a consequence, the CEH dispatched legal notices to the implicated brands, granting them a 60-day window to address the concerns raised. Unfortunately, the consumer group’s recent findings reveal that eight brands of athletic shorts and leggings also contain elevated levels of BPA.
The roster of sports bra brands identified by the CEH includes Athleta, PINK, Asics, The North Face, Brooks, All in Motion, Nike, and FILA. Similarly, the list of shirt brands comprises The North Face, Brooks, Mizuno, Athleta, New Balance, and Reebok.
The CEH has now pinpointed eight specific brands of shorts and leggings that demonstrate heightened BPA levels:
- Patagonia – Women’s Pack Out Tights
- Kohls – Tek Gear Capri High Rise
- Athleta – Salutation Stash Pocket Tights
- Adidas – Daily Run Tights
- Nike – One Tight Fit Full Length Leggings
- Champion – Base layer Double Dry pants
- Sweaty Betty – Power Medium Impact Sports Bra
- Champion – Absolute Eco Bike Shorts
- Nike – DriFit Tight Fit shorts
- Fabletics – Athletic Shirt
Brooks Running, another brand mentioned in the previous report, stated unequivocally that BPA is banned in their products and underscored their rigorous testing protocols for all their apparel. While confident in the compliance of their products with health and safety standards, Brooks expressed a sense of urgency in conducting thorough investigations to address the claims.
BPA, classified as an endocrine disruptive chemical, raises concerns due to its potential to interfere with the body’s natural hormone systems. It can mimic natural hormones or disrupt their production and breakdown processes, thereby posing potential health risks. Although industry trade groups argue that BPA is safe at low exposure levels, research suggests that it can leach into food and beverages from containers manufactured with BPA, prompting calls for reduced BPA levels in consumer products.
The CEH, led by its science director Jimena Diaz Leiva, has taken legal action against the sportswear brands implicated in their investigation. The lawsuits demand the removal of all BPA and bisphenol chemicals from their products. While initially limited to California residents, the CEH believes that a successful outcome could reverberate nationwide, compelling brands to reformulate their entire product lines rather than catering to specific regions.
As consumers grapple with the hidden dangers lurking in their everyday products, the imperative for brands to prioritize the health and safety of their customers becomes increasingly apparent. Eliminating toxic chemicals like BPA from athletic apparel is a crucial step in ensuring a safer and healthier future for all.