Comparisons between sports apparel has been repeatedly investigated by Greenpeace and the European regulatory bodies, who are concerned about the results. A worrying factor is, of course, all the clothes, which are nowadays treated with chemicals. Workout clothes are even more concerning. Why? Because of sweating between workouts, which enables the absorption of the toxins into the body.
Greenpeace has found out that the clothes of famous sport brands contain dangerous perfluorocarbons or PFCs, which are associated with difficulties in childbirth and prostate cancer. The high values of PFC may have negative effects on fertility and the immune system and can affect the formation of cancer cells. Greenpeace found dangerous amounts of these chemicals in 33 out of 35 samples analyzed and many other chemicals, which disrupt the hormone balance: phthalates, plasticizers and others.
Chemicals in clothes usually do not cause immediate reactions (possibly itching, irritation of the respiratory system …). However, they are detrimental in the long run.
“Unfortunately, in addition to everything else (food, environment) we are slowly poisoning ourselves with the clothing. The skin is our largest organ, but unfortunately skin does not protect us against chemicals that come in contact with it. Skin is permeable – for one compound less, for others more. Toxins in food pass through the intestines and the kidneys, where they can be eliminated before they go into the blood system. Chemicals, which are absorbed through the skin, do not go through the security system and directly merge into the blood system. In particular, this absorption is increased when we are warm because the pores
are more open. These chemicals can also be found in other organs and alarmingly – in the uterus and female genital organs.
Furthermore, chemicals that were found in children’s clothing (and footwear), are known to cause allergies, hormonal changes, thyroid dysfunction, neurological disorders and disturbances in development of sexual organs. An important factor is the susceptibility of the individual. Other symptoms may include headaches, difficulty in concentrating and learning, weaknesses, dizziness, difficulty in breathing, dark circles under the eyes, red eyes and cheekbones, hyperactivity…
What can we do about it?
1. All new clothing has to be washed with eco-detergents and fabric softeners.
2. Wear inherited or buy a secondhand clothing.
3. Buy products from most natural materials such as organic cotton and pay attention that the product is GOTS certified. A lot of clothing is already made from hemp and flax (100% natural), there are also modern and new materials made from nettles, algae and bamboo. 4. Also, a lot of sports apparel has been made from organic or recycled materials.
4. Also, a lot of sportswear has been made from organic or recycled materials.