Golf Refugees have been talking to The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) who recently tested synthetic sport shirts.

Here is what they advise to all consumers who wear synthetic; (polyester, polyamide) sport shirts;

1.) Always wash your new synthetic sports shirt before wearing.
2.) In case of skin reaction, stop wearing your synthetic shirt
3.) Consumers should be aware that synthetic sport shirts are a source of possible dangerous chemicals for people and the environment.
4.) When playing active sports which induce friction and or sweating it is better to wear a white cotton t-shirt underneath to avoid direct contact with the skin.

You may feel the last point is a bit strong and unnecessary. So why are they saying it?
Here is a list of the metals they test for on synthetic sport shirts;
nickel, lead, chromium, antimony, arsenic, cadmium, cobalt, copper and mercury

During testing lead, antimony, nickel and chromium were all extracted with a sweat solution to stimulate active wear. The risk here is not to the environment but for the people who wear the shirts.



Aerofoil hosel golf club head by Golf Refugees.
Do not be worried by the size of the test model 2:1 scale.
It is calculated with the operating speed of the wind tunnel to simulate the average swing speed of a golfer.
Wind tunnel testing at Cranfield University UK back in 2004, sponsored by Audi Design Foundation Callaway claim rights to aerofoil hosel idea for a golf club head in 2012.


Ex Formula One driver David Coulthard catches a golf ball in a Mercedes AMG car.
I wonder why they used a black golf ball?
Could it be that black golf balls are more visible in the air than traditional white golf balls?
Golf Refugees designed the original heat-absorbing black golf ball.

http://www.golf-refugees.com/balls.htm >>



Golf Refugees designer Peter Gorse challenges Callaway's Vice President of Innovation and Advanced Design Alan Hocknell to debate who designed the aerofoil section hosel for a golf club head on any Golf Network channel.


Golf magazines may soon be writing about a new golf club featuring an aerofoil section hosel from a major golf brand. Designed to reduce aerodynamic drag and increase club head speed.
The above picture of an aerofoil hosel composite golf club head by Golf Refugees designer Peter Gorse was taken by Audi for the cover of their in-house magazine. Audi through their Design Foundation exhibited the design and sponsored wind tunnel testing at
Cranfield University UK to verify the idea.
Callaway Golf Company are now claiming it is their idea.


Hi Peter ( Designer at Golf Refugees )
Aerofoil hosel prototype golf club head
"I will be interested to hear what you may find in your wind tunnel testing. The club head is very large relative to the hosel, so it will be interesting to see if you can attribute drag or stabilizing effects to a single feature like that".
"Best of luck with the design work".
Alan Hocknell
Vice President, Innovation and Advanced Design

Callaway Golf Company



Golf Refugees created and developed the idea of an aerofoil-section hosel for a golf club head, surrounding the circular cross-section golf shaft, reducing aerodynamic drag and increasing club head speed.

At the time we showed prototypes of the design and held discussions with leading golf brands including Titleist, Mizuno and Callaway.

All of our work was documented, dated and filed with various organisations including Cranfield University UK, where it formed part of an aerodynamic MSc research project.

Now Callaway in one of their latest US patents ‘Golf club head with improved aerodynamic characteristics’ 8,177,659 dated 12 th May 2012 are claiming it’s their idea.
We formally request Callaway to acknowledge it is a Golf Refugees idea.

http://www.golf-refugees.com/stories5.htm >>


Golf Refugees investigate what’s behind the palatable descriptions of sports apparel.
As you may expect we often read apparel reviews by numerous golf magazines and independent reviewers. Though they do all seem to say pretty much the same thing with performance abilities in ‘moisture-wicking’ a common theme. But that is where their curiosity ends. There appears to be little or no desire to ask, research or write about who makes these moisture-wicking textile finishers and what are they made from?

With millions of sports apparel garments using these agents, Golf Refugees believe it is of considerable consumer interest.

You may believe that it is the sportswear brands that develop these moisture-wicking products. But you would be mistaken, as Nike, Adidas and Puma simply apply these finishing products to their sports apparel and leave the development work to major chemical companies.

Golf Refugees intrepid designers approached a leading chemical conglomerate and asked to see details of their moisture-wicking product. They are usually given a trademark name incorporating the word ‘DRY’.

It only took a few e-mails to find the right person, a global product manager who kindly forwarded relevant MSDS ‘Material Data Safety Sheets’.
Here is a list of the ingredients for their highly successful ‘moisture-wicking’ product;

Diethylene glycol
Propylene glycol
Isotridecanol ethoxylate
Naphtha petroleum hydro-treated heavy

Some of these chemicals we had heard of and some we hadn’t. So we tried to associate the chemical ingredient with their primary purpose and descriptive phrase.

Where you read “crease resistant and easy care” you can replace it with
‘diethylene glycol’ (DEG). Here DEG is used as a textile lubricant and coupling agent. Other uses for DEG are brake fluid and wallpaper strippers.

As part of the “easy care” performance, it is stressed in their MSDS that they only use extremely low levels of releasable formaldehyde.

When you read “stain repellent” and it sounds perfectly reasonable for sportswear apparel to have such properties, you can replace it with ‘propylene glycol’.
This is the very same chemical that was used during the deepwater Horizon oil spill.

It makes astute business sense for chemical companies to find as many uses and applications for their substances. But how many of us knew when we were watching the spraying to disperse the Horizon oil spill we were wearing the exact same chemical, albeit in much smaller quantities?

When you read “moisture control” you can replace it with ‘isotridecanol ethoxylated’, here used to increase water solubility of textiles.

I have deliberately avoided mentioning any of the specific toxicity concerns and safety issues regarding these chemicals and many of them are potentially harmful to humans, aquatic organisms and the environment, as clearly stated in the MSDS.
Expensive treatment plants should be used before discarding some of these chemicals into the environment. Each individual chemical has been tested which is why you can find the appropriate data. However my research for this article failed to discover any testing of the combination of chemicals used in these finishing agents. How the various chemicals interact with each other.

Let’s not forget these moisture-wicking finishing agents are predominantly applied and developed for synthetic fibres; polyester, polyamide. Which are themselves derived from petrochemicals. So the whole process is simply adding further chemical finishes to a chemical based fabric.

If you can imagine a plastic sheet left out in the rain, the rain will simply bounce of it. These plastics; untreated polyester, polyamide are hydrophobic – repel water. You would have the unpleasant situation where your sweat is trapped between your skin and a plastic barrier, a synthetic shirt. Hence there was a ‘real’ need to develop a viable product and induce water absorption and transportation into synthetic textiles by the chemical industries. Inducing and moving moisture from inner to outer layers away from your skin where it can evaporate.

I hope some of you will find the above information of interest and spur you into your own research.

I would also like your views on whether you would support a campaign for all sportswear brands to include a list ‘ingredients’ used in their products? This could be either on their web sites or part of their apparel labels.

Please let me know your thoughts.



Dear Nike or Adidas or Puma Customer Services Department,

I am writing to gain further information and reassurances from you after reading comments made by Monique Goyens – Director General of The European Consumers Organisation, who said;

"It is inexplicable that heavy metals are used in mass consumer products. It is clearly foul play by manufacturers to use substances harmful to both people and the environment.
"Our organisations recent test results on sport shirts are a sad reminder that Europe's chemicals legislation is unfit for the purpose of banning dangerous substances from consumer products."

Understandably I have real concerns for myself and family wearing your branded sports apparel. Can you please provide me with a list of any toxic heavy metals and potentially immune-disruptive chemicals used to make your sportswear apparel?

As a loyal customer, I look forward to your reply.
Yours sincerely,



Spiral ball by Golf Refugees. Coming soon.  


BEUC, Europe's consumer watchdog have discovered that chemicals used in official team strips in Poland, Spain, Germany, Russia, Ukraine, Italy, France, Holland and Portugal, all produced by Adidas, Nike and Puma, showed all nine national shirts contained "worrying" levels of chemicals.
In an embarrassing turn of events the shirts of tournament co-hosts Poland are so bad they should be banned, said BEUC, the umbrella group representing the EU's national consumer organisations.
Lead, a heavy metal, was found in the team strip of six of the countries - Spain, Germany, Ukraine, Russia, France and Italy.
In kits from Spain and Germany, lead exceeded the legal level for children's products and Portuguese and Dutch shirts also contained nickel.
A BEUC statement said: "Host country Poland's shirt should be banned outright from shops as it contains an organotin compound, used to prevent sweat odour, in higher doses than the legal limit. Organotin can be toxic to the nervous system."
Another chemical, nonylphenol, which is banned from waste water because of its harmful effect on the environment, was found in Spain and Italy shirts.
BEUC director-general Monique Goyens said: "Football fans pay up to €90 (£73) for the shirt of their favourite team. The least they should expect is to have a quality and safe product.
"It is inexplicable that heavy metals are used in mass consumer products. It is clearly foul play by manufacturers to use substances harmful to both people and the environment.
"Our members' test results are a sad reminder that Europe's chemicals legislation is unfit for the purpose of banning dangerous substances from consumer products."
BEUC is now calling for a forthcoming review of current EU chemicals legislation to be used to tighten controls against potentially harmful and toxic "chemical cocktails" in retail goods. Ms Goyens said a [;an to deal with "endocrine-disrupting chemicals" would be an opportunity for the RU to be on the offensive against harmful chemicals."



Mariangela wears boyfriend's organic 'Maurice' shirt in a garden in England.
Organic carbon neutral t-shirts by Golf Refugees >>