Researchers Sound The Alarm About A Toxic Chemical Found In Some Sports Bras

By now, you have likely heard of BPA; countless products from reusable water bottles to canned food goods like soup now boast "BPA Free" on their labels. But why? And what is it?

BPA is short for bisphenol A, which is a chemical used to make certain types of plastic (via Mayo Clinic). It was first used in the 1950's and is found in some plastics and in epoxy resin. For decades it was used in linings of things like cans and other packages, and no one was the wiser. Unfortunately, in recent years it has come to light that BPA might cause health concerns for human beings. 

Studies have shown that BPA can seep into the food or drinks contained within it, and the chemical has been linked to possible negative effects on both the brains and prostate glands of unborn babies, infants, and children. It has further been shown to affect behavior of children. Where it comes to adults, studies have linked BPA to high blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and possibly hormone levels.

While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says that BPA is safe at very low levels, many manufacturers have opted to steer away from the chemical and advertise that their products no longer contain it so that concerned consumers can have some peace of mind. 

But what if there is BPA in your sports bra...and potentially a lot of it?

What studies have found

New tests that have been performed on popular brands of athletic attire and sports bras have shown that the clothing might be exposing people to BPA in amounts 22 times higher than what California's Center for Environmental Health has deemed safe (via CNN).

Specifically, sports bras that are sold under the labels of The North Face, All in Motion, Nike, FILA, Asics, Victoria's Secret PINK, and Athleta were all found to contain higher-than-safe levels of the chemical. Athletic shirts from brands including Mizuno, Athleta, New Balance, Reebok, The North Face, and Brooks were also tested and yielded similarly concerning results. The items in question were all polyester-based and contained Spandex. 

California's Center for Environmental Health has released a statement on the situation, saying, "We want brands to reformulate their products to remove all bisphenols including BPA. In the interim, we recommend limiting the time you spend in your activewear by changing after your workout."