Sports brands often boast of 'laser-cut side panels' and high-tech ventilation systems that 'push the limits of breathability' when justifying the price tag on replica jerseys, but they don't often mention the fact that their garments may poison you.
According to the findings of the BEUC, an organisation that represents national consumer organisations in the EU, there are "worrying" and often illegal amounts of chemicals present in official shirts made by Nike, Adidas and Puma. The Telegraph reports:
Lead, a heavy metal, was found in the team strip of six of the countries - Spain, Germany, Ukraine, Russia, France and Italy.
In kits from Spain and Germany, lead exceeded the legal level for children's products and Portuguese and Dutch shirts also contained nickel.
Not only is lead a heavy metal that has no place in a lightweight soccer jersey, but excessive exposure to it is an excellent way to contract lead poisoning. Symptoms of which include headaches, seizures and death. How fun.
The BEUC statement also said Poland's new shirt should be "banned outright" as it contains illegal levels of an organotin compound that can be toxic to the nervous system. Additionally, Spain and Italy shirts (made by Adidas and Puma respectively) were found to contain nonylphenol, a chemical that has been banned from waste water because of its damaging effect on the environment.
The BEUC now has now called for a review of EU chemicals legislation. In the meantime, if you own one of the national team shirts in question, DT strongly recommends that you don't try and eat it.