Toxic Sportswear May Negate Your Healthy Workout

Toxic sportswear may be in your closet.

When you hit the gym or the concrete to go on your daily run, you do so to stay fit and sweat out toxins. Well, it turns out that that whole toxin-sweating goal could be moot. Why? Because all sorts of lovely little toxins could be hiding in your sportswear.

According to The Guardian, Greenpeace, along with European regulatory bodies that monitor chemical safety, are concerned about the link between sportswear and cancer, developmental disabilities, and obesity. Now, most new clothing poses a risk to wearers as most conventional pieces contain toxins. But “sportswear is a particular problem because sweat and friction can prompt more rapid absorption of toxins into the body.”

The event that spiked concern about toxic sportswear was last month’s release of a Greenpeace report. The report discussed “how apparel companies are failing to regulate the chemicals in the sportswear they manufacture,” reports The Guardian.

Although it was the recent Greenpeace report that got people all riled up, The Guardian reports that there has been plenty of other research over the past few years that detail the dangers of chemicals used in sportswear. The main chemical culprits are dyes, solvents, and polyfluorinated chemicals (PFCs).

Another nugget of information that appeared in Greenpeace’s report was a few rankings it gave companies concerning their practices. According to the organization, Adidas is classified as a trendsetter and Nike, a greenwasher.

Adidas received this title because the company underwent some changes after previously receiving the greenwasher status.

“The company [Adidas] sat down with Greenpeace and committed to eliminating hazardous chemicals by 2020 and being 99% PFC-free by 2017. Manfred Santen, toxics campaigner for Greenpeace International in Germany, called this ‘a big step in the right direction,'” reports The Guardian.

Nike, however, disputes greenpeace’s claims and says the company “phased out long-chain PFCs at the beginning of this year, requiring that all materials meet the standards laid out in Nike’s Restricted Substances List.”

So, it probably goes without saying, but next time you look for sportswear, try to find some organic options.

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Abbie Stutzer

Writer, editor, and owner of Ginchy!, a freelance writing and editing company, and home funeral hub. Adores smart sex ed, sustainable ag, spooky history, women's health, feminism, horror, wine, and sci-fi.