Are golf professionals, their managers and consumers putting themselves at risk by not asking apparel brands a simple question? Does my golf shirt contain lead?

Lead has been found in the majority of synthetic polyester based moisture-wicking anti-bacterial sport shirt samples.

Exposure to lead is a concern for public health as it can have detrimental impact, even at very low levels, and no scientific safe limit values can be established. 

Lead is a suspected cause of cancer and disturbance of the hormonal system. Exposure to lead can cause problems with kidneys, infertility, stillbirth, brain damage and negatively impact upon the development of the nervous system.

The risk increases particularly with sport shirts as they are often used during perspiration-inducing activities and come into direct contact with the skin. Sweat and movement friction can facilitate the migration of hazardous substances from the fabric to our skin.

These are not our words but the words from the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) who test products on behalf of the public.

However, when Golf Refugees asked to see the full report we were denied, as only the brands of the sample shirts tested and authorised bodies were given full access. We asked the UK authorised body, part of the Department of Trade and Industry, unfortunately they too declined.

Golf professionals and consumers probably just look for the cut, colour, feel and brand when endorsing or purchasing golf apparel, whilst the BEUC look for the following:

Dibutyltin (DTD)
Nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPE’s)
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH’s)

We would advise you to ‘Google’ any of the above heavy metals and chemicals to give you a better idea of what brands use to make your lovely golf apparel.

Is it time for golf professionals and their managers, golf magazines and consumers to start asking brands; what is in my golf shirt?

Are we stuck with being kept in the dark about what we are buying and wearing? 

I have never seen a description in a golf magazine apparel review saying ‘Here is the latest spring/summer collection from ‘such a brand’, with lead, arsenic and formaldehyde for added comfort and performance.

But that is actually what you are getting.

Be aware of what you wear.

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