Having tested 9 official Euro 2012 shirts, produced by Adidas, Nike and Puma, all were found to have worrying levels of chemical content. Six of the shirts – Spain, Germany, Russia, Ukraine, France and Italy – were found to contain lead, a heavy metal, with the Spanish and German shirts carrying an amount exceeding the legal limit for children’s products. The Portugal and Holland shirts were found to contain nickel.
The most dangerous shirt was that of Poland, with the BEUC statement saying that it should be “banned outright from shops” as its levels of an organotin compound – included to reduce sweat odour – could be toxic to the nervous system.
Monique Goyens, Director General of BEUC, commented: “Football fans pay up to €90 for the shirt of their favourite team. The least they should expect is to have a quality and safe product. It is inexplicable that heavy metals are used in mass consumer products. It is clearly foul play by manufacturers to use substances harmful to both people and the environment.”