CEH Finds 100+ Sock Brands with High Levels of BPA
The Center for Environmental Health (CEH) sent legal notices to approximately 100 companies after extensive testing showed their socks made for babies, children, and adults could expose someone to up to 31 times the safe limit of the chemical BPA, according to California law. The companies include Adidas, Champion, GAP, Hanes, New Balance, and Reebok.
“Studies have shown that BPA can be absorbed through your skin and end up in the bloodstream after handling receipt paper for seconds or a few minutes at a time,” said Dr. Jimena Díaz Leiva, Science Director at CEH. “Socks are worn for hours at a time, so it is concerning to be finding such high levels of BPA, particularly in those made for babies and children.”
Research has shown that early life exposure to hormone-disrupting chemicals like BPA can increase the risk of infants developing a range of diseases during childhood and later in adulthood. Exposure to these chemicals during critical periods of development can increase the risk of adverse health outcomes (Braun 2016).
“BPA was originally designed as an estrogen,” said Tyrone Hayes, Professor of Integrative Biology at University of California, Berkeley. “Given the many adverse effects of exogenous estrogenic compounds, BPA should not be in our clothing, food packaging, or anything else that humans (or any animal for that matter) will come in contact with.”
CEH tested socks with different blends of polyester, cotton, and spandex, and found BPA in the socks made predominantly from polyester with spandex. CEH has not found BPA in socks predominantly made from cotton.
Kaya Allan Sugerman, Illegal Toxic Threats Program Director at CEH said: “CEH uses California’s Proposition 65 as a tool to move companies to eliminate toxic chemicals from their products, and Prop 65 lists BPA as a chemical that harms the reproductive system. BPA is not a necessary ingredient in socks and manufacturers must immediately remove it.”
“BPA comes from Big Oil and the petrochemical industry,” said Michael Green, Founder of CEH. “Why are we digging up 500 million year old plants and animals, turning them into toxic chemicals, and adding them in our socks? Surely companies can make clothing like socks without toxic BPA.”
Brands with high levels of BPA:
A New Day
All in Motion
Angel of Mine
Capelli New York
CSG (Champs Sports)
Danbar Global Stars & Dreamers
Dick’s Sporting Goods
Fruit of the Loom
G.H. Bass & Co.
Jones New York
Mix No. 6 (DSW)
Pickle & Dot
Polo Ralph Lauren
Tic Tac Toe
Treasure & Bond
West Loop (Walgreens)
Throughout 2022, CEH has reached legally-binding, court-enforceable agreements with some of the companies. We applaud those that have elected to reformulate their products to remove not only BPA, but all bisphenols, from their socks.
- Bioworld Merchandising, Inc. (purchased at Spirit Halloween)
- Atsuko (includes DragonBall Z and Naruto)
- Dumb Good (includes brands such as Adventure Time, Cowboy BeBop, the Peanuts, Goosebumps, )
- Graph (video-game/computer game brands such as Nintendo, Doom, Fallout 4, Playstation, Street Fighter and Assassins Creed)
- Heroes & Villains (includes brands such as Star Wars, Marvel, DC, Dungeons & Dragons, Dark Horse and Star Trek).
- Hypnotic Hats, Ltd. (purchased at JCPenney) (effective May 29, 2023)
- (e.g., Superman, Spider Man, Star Wars, Rugrats, etc.)
- Torrid Merchandising, Inc./Torrid LLC
The following companies have agreed to reformulation, but legal agreements with them also allow for an option to warn the consumer (and not reformulate), should they choose to use it. We earnestly hope they do not avail themselves of this option to warn, but if you see warnings on these products, be advised that they may contain BPA, which is known to cause birth defects and other reproductive harm:
- Zhejiang Yiheng Textile Technology Co., Ltd. (West Loop branded socks purchased at and supplied to Walgreens)
- Mad Engine, LLC (Disney branded socks purchased at CharlotteRusse.com)
- F21 Opco, LLC (purchased at Forever 21)
- Interbrand LLC (brand: PGA Tour)
- Dolls Kill, Inc.: Asha Design LLC (brands: Dolls Kill; Francesca’s)
- Fit for Life LLC (brands: Gaiam; retailer: TJ Maxx)
- Bon-Bini, LLC (brand: Stepping Stones; retailer: Ross)
Clear and reasonable warning to consumers:
- DML Marketing Group, Ltd. (brand: Legale; retailer: Ross)
- International Intimates, Inc. (brand: Rene Rofe; retailer: Burlington)
- New rue21, LLC (brand: rue21; retailer: rue21.com)