Fitness apparel is an important aspect in your workout as it will help you to reach your fitness goals with its direct as well as indirect impact. Therefore, whenever you go out to shop your fitness apparels including the exercise shoes and sports bras, you must be careful enough to choose the right type of it.
You must not only consider the right fit as these apparels and accessories come in different sizes and shapes but you must also consider the type of fabric you choose. Just like any other product of service you must know that all fitness apparels are not created equal and therefore you will need to find out and devote a little time on your research.
When you do your homework well you will surely be able to stay away from those toxic workout clothes that may affect your performance as well as your health in the long run. These toxic clothes will cause a lot of serious health issues such as skin infection, irritation, chafing and even injuries and several other forms of discomfort.
Toxic workout clothes
When you sift through the workout clothes you must be wary about the fabric especially. This is primarily the element that will contain the toxic materials in it that will affect your health. You will hardly know until it is too late that the favorite antimicrobial workout shirt that you wear or even the waterproof hiking jacket may contain a few surprising and potentially toxic chemicals.
According to a Swedish report it was found that:
About 10% of the 2,400 chemicals used in the fabrics and analyzed carry potential risk to human health. This is an alarming discovery.
What is even far more alarming is the fact that less than 1% of these chemicals or fabrics containing these harmful and toxic chemicals are regulated or classified in the US.
That means there is a high chance that every single piece may contain a small amount of toxic chemicals. Researchers also found that the potential dangers of these chemicals add up due to the exposure of it to the air, light, your skin and other elements.
When it comes to workout gears, the danger it poses is significantly higher due to the sweat factor and movement. These factors expedite the release of more harmful substances and other troubling compounds that reacts with your skin.
Some of the harmful substances that are usually found in active wear include:
In a 2012 European report it is found that soccer jerseys even carried lead and other cancer causing chemicals.
In several instances it is found that these chemicals also pose a serious risk to the wildlife. This is because these chemicals are laundered out of the clothes and end up in the streams, lakes and rivers.
Therefore, it is always recommended that you buy your workout clothes from reputed and reliable stores whether it is a physical store or an online store like Tuffwomen.com. This will reduce if not eliminate the chances of any toxic chemical exposure when you wear these and exercise.
The harmful chemicals
The different harmful chemicals that may be in your cheap workout clothes will have different properties and levels of health risks. Once you know about these you will realize the health risks and importance of buying only high quality and reputed sportswear.
PFCs or Perfluorinated compounds: Usually, these chemicals have the property to repel water, dirt and oil and therefore are used in making waterproof pants, jackets, and shoes. However, prevent you from getting wet as it may, it will also result in several health problems such as prostate cancer and low birth weight, both dangerous for women. Most of the reputed companies have already stopped using PFCs in their sports clothing and others are slowly phasing them out.
Phthalates: These are usually plasticizing chemicals that are especially found in vinyl material used in making the workout clothes. It is also found in some printed fabrics as well. According to the reports of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, women wearing these types of clothes may experience reproductive problems when exposed to these chemicals. Add to that, it was found in a 2011 review by the University of Pennsylvania scientists that phthalates typically act as an endocrine disruptor. This will interfere with the hormonal systems in your body.
Alkylphenol Ethoxylates: Known as APEs commonly, these are found in detergents used by the manufacturers to wash fabrics. APEs do not break down easily and therefore get washed out and end up in local waterways. As per the reports of the Environmental Working Group, the APEs accumulate in the bodies of marine animals and even people using the water and results in reproductive problems.
Triclosan: Usually used in antibacterial and antimicrobial fabrics, the US Food and Drug Administration warn about the effects of it in hormone regulation. It is a hormone disruptor and does not remove any germs. It gets washed down the drain and morph into the chemical dioxin in the mud at the bottom of the lakes.
Silver nanoparticles: These are tiny, bacteria battling orbs used to make workout clothes and hospital gowns to make them resistant to smelly and infectious germs. These can get absorbed into your skin with sweat. Research shows it breaks down when washed with strong detergents containing bleach and releases it into water to harm the aquatic organisms or the beneficial bacteria in the soil.
The dyes and formaldehyde resins in new clothes prevent wrinkling and mildew but can trigger rash even at safe levels as per a 2010 U.S. Government Accountability Office study. Therefore, always wash before you wear new or old clothes.
In order to reduce the exposure when you work out wearing these clothes the first thing to do is to buy them from reliable companies that are known to have phased out toxins. You can confirm with Greenpeace regarding this matter.
Next, make sure you wear an old cotton t-shirt under your work out shirt to cat as a barrier between the probable nontoxic layer and your skin and help protect you.