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New Testing Shows BPA Could Be Leaching Into Our Skin From Socks

CONTACT: Emily DiFrisco, (510) 655-3900 x 307

CEH Finds 63 Sock Brands with High Levels of BPA, Calls on Companies to Act 

OAKLAND, CA – The Center for Environmental Health (CEH) sent legal notices to nine companies today 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. In total, CEH has initiated litigation with 63 socks brands, including 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.

“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.” 

After months of testing, CEH sent legal notices to 54 companies whose socks had high levels of BPA in September. Already some companies are responding and working collaboratively with CEH to begin the process of removing BPA from their products. 

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, CEO 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.”

Add Your Name: Tell Fashion CEOs to Take the BPA Out of Socks

About Center for Environmental Health 

Center for Environmental Health (CEH) is a 25 year old organization leading the nationwide effort to protect people from toxic chemicals. Learn more at