Adidas has thrown off an investigation and subsequent protest from Greenpeace about the presence of dangerous chemicals in official World Cup merchandise.
Last month’s investigation from Greenpeace discovered hazardous substances in numerous Adidas products. But the sportswear giant has told edie that its entire inventory ‘fully meets all legal requirements’.
The environmental organisation found high levels of perfluorinated chemicals (PFC) in Adidas, Nike and Puma products purchased across three continents – including boots, goalkeeper gloves and Adidas’ official ‘Brazuca’ football.
The findings led to a protest at an international friendly match in Mexico last week, with Greenpeace activists deploying a 220sq.m banner reading ‘Adidas Detox Football’ in the stands.
But Adidas has hit back, insisting that ‘none of the tested products pose any health risk to consumers’. When contacted by edie, a spokesperson for the group said: “We clearly reject Greenpeace’s attempt in making our consumers believe that our products are unsafe. None of the implied test results suggest that any deliberate use of these components in our materials.
“All of the published results and concentrations fully meet all legal requirements. To give you one example, the European guideline for NPE is 1,000 parts per million (ppm) – the value that was found in the Adidas Brazuca ball is 50 times lower than this guideline. Therefore, Brazuca – just like all other adidas products tested – is fulfilling all legal criteria.
“The result underlines our continued commitment to ensure this best practice approach in all of our products.”
But Greenpeace disagree, with activists claiming Adidas must ‘stop playing dirty and show hazardous chemicals the red card’.
“In 2011, Adidas made a commitment to achieve zero toxic discharges and respect people’s right to know by ensuring full supply chain transparency,” said Greenpeace’s detox campaigner Sinai Guevara. “However, our reports have shown they are not doing enough to match their promises.
“Brands like adidas are making their customers and football fans everywhere unwitting accomplices in this toxic scandal. Adidas has the power and the responsibility to change its production to keep football beautiful and ensure clean rivers for the generations to come.”
Video: Greenpeace Detox Football
The Greenpeace investigation discovered that models of adidas’ ‘Predator’ football boots were found to have the highest concentration of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) at levels over Adidas’ own limits.
This follows a similar Greenpeace report released earlier this year, which revealed that several clothing companies – including Nike and Adidas – had been using hazardous chemicals in children’s clothes and shoes.
Adidas again hit back at that report, with a spokesperson telling edie that the company was concerned with the ‘manipulative reporting of Greenpeace, as they on purpose report about additional chemicals which were not even found in the products’.