Report claims Nike, Adidas Euro jerseys contain 'worrying levels' of chemicals

Nike Inc.

A European consumer watchdog group says several soccer jerseys made by Nike Inc. for the Euro 2012 tournament -- including the Portugal, Poland, France and Netherlands jerseys shown here — contain hazardous chemicals. Nike says separate tests found them safe for consumers.

A European consumer watchdog group this week said several of the jerseys to be worn in the European championships starting Friday contain harmful toxic substances, including a Nike Inc. made shirt it said should be recalled.

The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) — an umbrella group for 42 independent consumer organizations — on Tuesday said it tested nine jerseys of teams participating in the month-long EURO 2012 competition taking place in Poland and Ukraine.

All nine — Poland, Spain, Germany, Russia, Ukraine, Italy, France, The Netherlands and Portugal — had what the group called “worrying levels of chemical content.”

The report didn’t identify the brands associated with each jersey.

Nike (NYSE: NKE), based in Washington County, is the apparel supplier for four of the nations tested: Poland, France, The Netherlands, and Portugal.

Germany’s Adidas, which keeps its North American brand headquarters in North Portland, is the kit maker for another four nations: reigning champion Spain, Germany, Russia and co-host Ukraine. Jerseys for the ninth nation, Italy, are made by Germany’s Puma brand.

The BEUC found lead in six of the jerseys, with Adidas-made Spain and Germany kits found to have exceeded the recommended level for children’s products.

Nike-made Portugal and Netherlands jerseys contain nickel. And host country Poland’s jerseys contain more organotin — a sweat- and odor-prevention compound known to be toxic to the nervous system — than is legally allowed, prompting the BEUC to say the Nike-made shirts should be “banned outright from shops.”

Jerseys for Adidas-made Spain and Puma-made Italy contained nonylphenol, which the BEUC said can distrupt the endocrine system.

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