Press Releases

New Testing Shows High Levels of BPA in Sports Bras and Athletic Shirts

[Updated on August 22, 2023 11:00 pm PT] OAKLAND, Calif., — Today, the Center for Environmental Health (CEH) sent legal notices to 19 different brands after testing showed high levels of BPA in sports bras, leggings, active shirts, and active shorts from the brands. The latest brands include:

  • Leggings from Activ Pro, Alo Yoga, Amazon Essentials, Outdoor Voices, Wilson
  • Sports bras from Amazon Essentials, Avia (Walmart), Just Be, Patagonia, Skechers, Aerie
  • Athletic shirts from Activ Pro, Beyond Yoga, FILA, Free People, Hoka, Outdoor Voices, Patagonia, Skechers, Soul Cycle, Under Armour, Xersion (JC Penney)
  • Athletic shorts from Asics, Athletic Works (Walmart), Hoka, New Balance, Prana, Xersion (JCPenney)

Sign the Petition to Activewear CEOs

[Updated on May 17, 2023 10:30 pm PT] OAKLAND, Calif., — Today, the Center for Environmental Health (CEH) sent legal notices to eight additional brands whose leggings, shorts, sports bras, and athletic shirts after testing showed the clothing could expose individuals to up to 40 times the safe limit of the chemical bisphenol A (BPA), according to California law. The new brands include: -leggings from Athleta, Champion, Kohl’s, Nike, Patagonia -sports bras from Sweaty Betty -athletic shirts from Fabletics -shorts from Adidas, Champion, Nike

Previously, CEH sent legal notices to sports bra brands Athleta, PINK, Asics, The North Face, Brooks, All in Motion, Nike, and FILA, and activewear shirt brands The North Face, Brooks, Mizuno, Athleta, New Balance, and Reebok.

BPA, a well-studied hormone disrupting chemical, mimics estrogen and can disrupt the normal functioning of the body, including metabolism, growth and development, and reproduction. “People are exposed to BPA through ingestion (e.g., from eating food or drinking water from containers that have leached BPA) or by absorption through skin (e.g., from handling receipt paper),” said Kaya Allan Sugerman, Illegal Toxic Threats Program Director at CEH. “Studies have shown that BPA can be absorbed through skin and end up in the bloodstream after handling receipt paper for seconds or a few minutes at a time. Sports bras and athletic shirts are worn for hours at a time, and you are meant to sweat in them, so it is concerning to be finding such high levels of BPA in our clothing.” To date, CEH’s investigations have found BPA in polyester-based clothing with spandex, including socks made for infants. Throughout the past year, CEH has pushed more than 90 companies to reformulate their products to remove all bisphenols including BPA, and some have already agreed to do so. “The problem with BPA is it can mimic hormones like estrogen and block other hormone receptors, altering the concentration of hormones in our bodies, and resulting in negative health effects,” said Dr. Jimena Díaz Leiva, Science Director at CEH. “Even low levels of exposure during pregnancy have been associated with a variety of health problems in offspring. These problems include abnormal development of the mammary glands and ovaries that can increase the likelihood of developing breast or ovarian cancer later in life. These effects occur even at low levels of exposure like those seen in people today.” CONTACT: Emily