Sports brands’ toxic chemical scandal ahead of the 2014 Fifa World Cup

Noga Chen
June 1, 2014

Well, here’s another toxic blow to the industry! Leading sports brands adidas, Nike, and Puma have been exposed by a Greenpeace report as containing high levels of hazardous chemicals in their football merchandise ahead of the 2014 Fifa World Cup in Brazil.

Playing Dirty

Out of 33 items sold across three continents, hazardous substances including perfluorinated chemicals (PFC) were found in all three brands’ football shirts, boots as well as other harmful chemicals lurking in goalkeeper gloves and the official Fifa World Cup ‘Brazuka’ football. One adidas product was even found to contain levels of PFC, at 14 times over the company’s own restriction limits.

But, there’s more – the harmful toxins have been identified as being hidden in childrens’ sports merchandise more than others; of the 33 items, 20 were found in childrens’ products! These are truly frightening numbers considering that the chemicals are shown to have carcinogenic effects as well as toxicity on the immune system and liver.

Just think, if we are only discovering this now, what else may be lurking in the things we use on a daily basis?

So far, we know that more than 550 types of dyes and over 3,000 chemicals of auxiliaries containing harmful chemicals, hormone disruptors, or heavy metals, are restricted for use in textile products under the laws of different countries. But, law and enforcement are proving to be two different ball games – and with Greenpeace’s latest discovery, Kornit joins them in a call to action: It’s time to clean up the game!

Cleaning up the game

Harmful chemicals need to be eradicated from the textiles supply chain entirely – no small feat, we tell you. At Kornit, we’re playing our part in pioneering a new generation of responsible print production with our specially formulated NeoPigment inks. Made in-house, they are 100% environmentally conscious, 100% toxin-free and safe for infants and babies (Find out more here).

Sadly though, a frequent question about toxin-free clothing is whether it is affordable for textile companies to replace hazardous chemicals with safer alternatives. The answer is absolutely! and doing so is essential if companies want to keep their business sustainable.

This is an urgent issue that affects us all, from textile producers to end-consumer health and safety. Now’s the time to do something about it!