Some people may think that the secret to good health is to join a gym, spend time on yourself, lose weight, and gain muscle. However, a recent study published by the American Chemical Society found that environmental science and technologydiscovered some alarming news for fitness enthusiasts earlier this year.
Gym clothes and skin reaction
of study The authors investigated the skin bioaccessibility of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDD) incorporated as additives in different types of microplastics (MPs) and describes how in vitro extraction studies were conducted to assess human skin exposure to substances. ” In other words, they wanted to test how gym clothes react to your skin when you sweat, and the results are alarming.
Most sports apparel contains synthetic fibers such as spandex, polyester, and nylon, which are effectively microplastics. Additionally, petrochemicals form the base of these fibers, and additives such as phthalates and bisphenols compound the toxic combination. Sadly, data shows that a chemical reaction between sweat and these microplastics means they are absorbed into our skin during exercise.
Effects of pollution
The focus of the research was on a specific group of compounds called brominated flame retardants (BFRs), which are used to make clothing less flammable. BFR can have long-term contaminating effects and is associated with thyroid problems, neurological problems, and hormonal damage.
Petrochemicals, or petroleum, are found in many consumer products. However, gym clothes come with unique risks because they are similar to human sweat glands. The University of Birmingham in the UK has already discovered that human sweat contains oils containing lipophilic chemicals that dissolve plastic chemicals on contact.
micro plastic fiber
In summary, the more you sweat during exercise, the more dangerous chemicals from microplastics mix with the natural oils in your sweat. Dr Mohamed Abdallah, an associate professor on the Birmingham research team, claims that our sweat allows “harmful chemicals to escape from microplastic fibers and become available for human absorption”.
Until now, most microplastic research has focused on our food and drink supplies, but these new discoveries have put clothing manufacturers, and therefore sports brands, in the spotlight. The overall effect can affect our health, especially for breastfeeding mothers.
Is cancer incidence increasing?
A previous study sampled breast milk from 50 American mothers and uncovered some surprising statistics. Environmental Contamination found traces of her 25 different flame retardants in her milk, including substances that the United States phased out years ago. Additionally, other studies suggest that cancer incidence is increasing among American women under age 50, with breast, gastrointestinal, and endocrine cancers being the fastest growing.
Informing state legislators of the need for more transparency on this issue is also a step worth considering.Established in California Proposal 65 (better known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Substances Enforcement Act of 1986), an exhaustive list of carcinogens that companies must disclose during manufacturing. Other states have enacted similar laws.
Finally, risk reduction can be achieved by limiting exposure to certain substances. For example, it helps to only wear natural fibers that are made as sustainably as possible, especially those that do not contain plastic materials on the label. Additionally, research the source of clothing before purchasing and check with monitoring and regulatory bodies such as the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). Oeko-tex For more information, please see our list of suppliers on our website or use our ‘Label Check’ resource.
Brought up in the UK and with a background in international education, Ben has lived on three continents including Africa, Asia and North America, and currently lives in southern Spain with his wife and son. He has worked in a variety of jobs, from traveling projectionist to landscape architect.
He offers a unique travel-savvy perspective on life, with several travel-related specialties. Ben loves writing about a variety of topics including food, music, parenting, education, culture, and movies. His passion is Gen X nerds: movies, music, and television.
He has spent the last few years building his writing portfolio. He started out as a short story writer for a Hong Kong publishing house, then moved into freelance articles and features, and bylines for various online publications such as Wealth of Geeks, Fanside, and Detour Magazine. .