adidas in Hot Water Over Chemicals in World Cup Products

6/3/2014
Greenpeace Mexico activists protested against adidas at an international friendly match between Mexico and Israel at the Azteca stadium. The Activists deployed a 220 square meter banner reading "Adidas Detox Football" in the stands.

This protest comes after investigations revealing the presence of dangerous chemicals in official World Cup merchandise made by Nike, Puma and the Cup's official sponsor, adidas. These included boots, gloves and some products designed for children.The results show that hazardous substances most likely have been used during the production process. These substances can escape into waterways near the factories but also from the products themselves when washed.

"The production of these products is polluting rivers all around the world, impacting upon flora and fauna as well as the surrounding communities. What's more, brands like adidas are making their customers and football fans everywhere unwitting accomplices in this toxic scandal. We call on adidas to stop playing dirty and show hazardous chemicals the red card," said Sinai Guevara, Detox Campaigner at Greenpeace Mexico.

The latest Detox investigation included shoes made in Vietnam and bought in Mexico, in which perfluorinated chemicals PFC, like the hazardous acid (PFOA) were found. This substance is persistent in the environment and can be dangerous to reproduction.

Meanwhile, hundreds of fans showed their support by taking part in a #DetoxWave at the iconic Azteca stadium, where the 1970 and 1986 World Cups were played. They joined a global campaign to create the world's biggest-ever digital Mexican wave to demand adidas stop using hazardous chemicals.

Models of adidas' Predator football boots were found to have the highest concentration of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) at levels over adidas' own limits.

"In 2011 adidas made a commitment to achieve zero toxic discharges and respect people's right to know by ensuring full supply chain transparency. However, our reports have shown they are not doing enough to match their promises. adidas has the power and the responsibility to change its production to keep football beautiful and ensure clean rivers for the generations to come," concluded Guevara.
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