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Cleaning up the World Cup

World Cup 2014
Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

As part of the Detox Campaign, Greenpeace has conducted a study of harmful chemicals found in products manufactured by World Cup sponsors, mainly Adidas and Nike. All products tested were manufactured and sold as part of the FIFA World Cup 2014. The products tested for perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) included boots and gloves all branded with World Cup 2014 players or teams. The majority of the products were made in China and Indonesia to be sold primarily in Europe.

Over half of the boots tested positive for ionic PFCs and contained amounts of perfluorooctonoic acid (PFOA) above regulatory limits with the highest amounts in Adidas products. Adidas gloves also tested positive for PFOS.

These chemicals are known as persistent organic pollutants and they are moved by winds. They have been found in humans and animals far from the original source. PFCs are used to repel oil and water from clothing and other products such as non-stick cookware and food packaging. For example, PFCs are found in high amounts on the bags of bagged popcorn.

Indonesia's Citarium River is highly polluted. Sixty eight percent of the industrial facilities built by the river are textile producers.

The Detox Campaign is a call to clothing brands to eliminate hazardous chemicals from their products.

On 11 June 2014, the day before the World Cup began, Adidas sided with Greenpeace after a year of,according to Greenpeace, people-backed pressure. Adidas intends to eliminated all PFCs by 2017 and be completely chemical free by 2020. They will also implement a full-transparency policy by publicly reporting chemical use.

Other companies involved with the campaign include Nike, Levi's and Victoria's Secret among others.