The endocrine-disrupting chemical BPA (bisphenol-A), common in items like the inner lining of food cans, plastic drink bottles, some dental fillings, the inner lids of Mason jars, cash register/ATM receipts, and more, has now been discovered in a scientific study to be present at high levels in some sports bras and athletic wear. This is problematic because BPA (originally used as a synthetic estrogen) has been linked with a number of serious health consequences including weight gain/obesity, gynecomastia (enlarged male breasts)*, heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
The Center for Environmental Health (CEH) has sent legal notices to 11 brands manufacturing sports bras and athletic shirts about the BPA, stating that sports bras and athletic shirts may be worn for hours at a time so it is concerning for such high levels of BPA to be present. The legal notices stated testing results, which could indicate clothing wearers could be exposed to up to 22 times the safe BPA according to California law standards. The notice asks brands to reformulate their products to remove all bisphenols including BPA and gives the companies 60 days to work with CEH. (source)
Brands with high levels of BPA present in clothing:
Sports bra brands include:
- All in Motion (Target)
- PINK (Victoria’s Secret)
- The North Face
Activewear shirt brands include:
- New Balance
- The North Face
*According to the Mayo Clinic, gynecomastia is an increase in the amount of breast gland tissue in boys or men, caused by an imbalance of the hormones estrogen and testosterone. Gynecomastia can affect one or both breasts, sometimes unevenly.