Wednesday, May 21, 2014

World Cup products: Greenpeace study

Greenpeace Germany tested 33 items for hazardous chemicals and made to be sold inconjunction with the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. These included the official ball (adidas), boots, goalkeeper gloves sold by adidas, Nike, and Puma. Test results confirmed many of the products contained hazardous chemicals such as perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs), nonylphenolethoxylates (NPEs), phthalates and dimethylformamide (DMF). All these substances have potential to cause harm to health. The investigation found 17 out of 21 football boots and half of the goalkeeper's gloves tested were found to contain ionic PFCs, such as the particularly dangerous PFOA. Adidas' "Predator" boot and Nike's "Tiempo" boot contained the highest levels of PFOA, the campaign group said, while a pair of adidas 'Predator' gloves were also said to contain levels of the substance in excess of the brand's own limits. The 'Brazuca' official World Cup ball was similarly found to contain NPEs, a substance that, when released into the environment, degrades to nonylphenol, a substance known to be toxic to fish and other aquatic organisms. NPEs were also found in over two thirds of boots and half of the gloves, indicating the widespread use of the chemical. Phthalates and DMF was detected in all 21 pairs of boots tested. DMF is used as a solvent in boot manufacture and is classed as harmful to reproduction and can also be damaging when in contact with skin. Greenpeace's Detox campaign has successfully convinced 20 companies, including high profile names such as Primark, Zara, Victoria's Secret, and H&M to make commitments to ditch various hazardous chemicals from their supply chains by 2020, a pledge Nike and adidas have also taken.