On any normal day in the world of football shirt news, the main story would be Cardiff City FC confirming that from the start of 2012-13 they’ll be wearing red shirts instead of their traditional blue. Predictably, there has been outrage from the Bluebird’s supporters, if we can still call them that.
But as a Personal Injury Lawyer who specialises in Product Liability, I’ve noted with interest the comments from Europe’s consumer watchdog BEUC regarding ‘toxic’ replica shirts. Research was conducted into replica shirts from official team shirts from nine nations.
Luckily, England’s Umbro strip is not thought to contain dangerous chemicals, but supporters of Portugal, Russia, Ukraine, France, Holland, Germany, Spain, Italy and Poland have all been described as containing worrying levels of chemicals.
The Guardian reports that lead, a heavy metal, was found in quantities exceeding the legal limit in the shirts of several nations. Nickle, another metal, and nonylphenol, a chemical banned from waste water, has also been found in several shirts.
Top (or should that be bottom?) of the league for dangerous shirts is Poland’s national shirt, with BEUC director-general Monique Goyen going as far to say it should be banned outright as it contains substances which can harm the nervous system.
At £70 a pop for some of these shirts, it’s shocking that manufacturers see fit to cut costs in such a dangerous way to boost their profits. As with any product, the consumer places an element of trust in the manufacturer when they purchase. Sad to see football fans, who may buy a replica shirt out of blind loyalty to their team or country, being unwittingly put at risk of illness as they support their team.
BEUC is now calling for a review of chemicals currently used in EU clothing manufacturing, which will hopefully see a tightening up of controls over potentially harmful and toxic chemicals in the sector.
If you have suffered injury or illness caused by a defective product, please contact us today to discuss your claim free of charge with a specialist Product Liability Solicitor.