Fans warned against buying toxic kits

Fans warned against buying toxic kits

Published Jun. 6, 2012 1:00 a.m. ET

European soccer fans were warned against buying their nation's jerseys at Euro 2012 because of toxic chemicals contained in the replica kits.

"Worrying" levels of chemicals, including lead and nickel, were found in jerseys of nine competing countries, including tournament favorites Spain, Germany and the Netherlands, European consumer group BEUC said.

Co-host Poland will kick off the tournament Friday wearing a jersey that "should be banned outright" from stores because its use of an organotin compound, employed to prevent sweat odor, exceeds legal limits, the body said.

The Spanish and Italian jerseys were found to contain nonylphenol, a chemical so harmful that it is banned from wastewater because of its danger to the environment.

"It is inexplicable that heavy metals are used in mass consumer products," BEUC director Monique Goyens said, while demanding a review of EU legislation regarding chemicals after the jerseys were passed for manufacture.


"It is clearly foul play by manufacturers to use substances harmful to both people and the environment," she added.

The jerseys of co-host Ukraine, Russia, France and Portugal also were singled out as being unfit for purchase.