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Toxins May Be Lurking in Your Favorite Activewear, Alarming New Study Says

Harmful chemicals were found in popular brands we know and love.

Carving out time from your busy schedule to nurture the mind, body, and soul is essential for your mental health and overall well-being. Whether you work some early morning meditating into your daily routine, or stretch it out in a post-work yoga flow, taking time for, well, "me time" should not be overlooked.

But don't be too quick to reach for your favorite workout leggings and roll out your yoga mat for a peaceful bit of self-love. You may want to take a closer look at the content of your activewear, according to an alarming new study, because it could contain toxic chemicals. Read on to learn more, and next, check out The 6 Best Exercises for Strong and Toned Arms in 2022, Trainer Says.

A recent, alarming study finds toxic chemicals in popular activewear brands

woman in light brown workout attire stretches

Recent, shocking test results were reported by wellness blog Mamavation, in partnership with Environmental Health News. It revealed that traces of polyfluoroalkyl substances, aka PFAS (chemicals that last long, take forever to break down, and are used on many everyday things), have been detected in some really popular activewear items. Signs of toxic PFAS were discovered in trendy brands that we know and love, as reported by Mamavation.

Related: The 10 Most Toxic Ingredients Lurking In Fast Food

What you should know about PFAS, aka "forever chemicals"

Drinking water concept. Female runner tying her shoe next to bottle of water.

To be clear, PFAS are detected in our dirt, water, air, and even fish throughout the United States and the entire world. They can be found on cell phone screens, guitar strings, nonstick pans, parchment paper, and even food wrappings, according to Consumer Reports. Pretty disturbing stuff, right? The United States Environmental Protection Agency says studies indicate that being exposed to particular PFAS could be detrimental to your health.

The study discovered 25% of the examined attire contained noticeable amounts of organic fluorine on them

group of people in workout attire holding yoga mats

In this consumer study, the presence of organic fluorine—a PFAS indicator—was examined on a group of workout attire, which included yoga pants, workout leggings, and miscellaneous items. The results? 25% of all pieces that were examined contained noticeable amounts of organic fluorine on them.

Related: If You Bought This Cosmetic, it May Have Toxic Chemicals, Study Warns

It doesn't stop there—your comforter and everyday home items may contain toxic PFAS, too

woman sleeping cozy in plush bed

The worst part is, that's not the only recent study that detected these harmful chemicals on items we use on the daily. A new study conducted by Toxic-Free Future discovered toxic PFAS on 72% of the items they tested, with mattress pads, comforters, rain jackets, and hiking pants being amongst them.

Study author and science director for Toxic-Free Future, Erika Schreder, says, "Our testing finds continued, unnecessary use of the toxic chemicals known as PFAS in outdoor clothing and home furnishings like bedding and tablecloths. When companies use PFAS to make products stain- or water-resistant, they are using chemicals that contaminate homes, drinking water, and breast milk with highly persistent chemicals that can cause cancer and harm the immune system."

The results of the studies are beyond concerning, as we may be exposing ourselves to toxic PFAS on a regular basis without even knowing it. Exposure to these chemicals could potentially lead to a compromised immune system, reproductive damage, cancer, and other quite serious health issues (via Environmental Working Group).

Alexa Mellardo
Alexa is the Mind + Body Deputy Editor of Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling fitness, wellness, and self-care topics to readers. Read more about Alexa
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