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BPA found in sports bras and workout leggings, many sold in Canada



Major athletic clothing brands sold worldwide, including in Canada, have been found to contain high levels of the toxic chemical BPA in their sports bras, shirts, shorts and leggings, according to a United States consumer watchdog group.

The Center for Environmental Health (CEH) on May 17 sent out legal notices to eight athletics brands after testing showed high amounts of bisphenol A (BPA) in the clothing they sold. This comes months after the group previously issued legal notices to a handful of other athletic companies and alerted consumers about the issue.

Brands that were tested included Adidas, Athleta, Champion, Fabletics, Kohl’s, New Balance, Nike, Patagonia, Pink, The North Face and Reebok. After testing the athletic clothing, CEH found BPA levels 40 times over the California limit.


Although the U.S. has not implemented a complete ban on BPA, states like California have imposed their own restrictions. Under California law, the maximum allowable level for BPA via skin exposure is three micrograms per day.


Global News reached out to the above brands for a comment on the findings, but only Adidas got back by deadline.

“We are reviewing the report,” a spokesperson for Adidas said in an emailed statement.

“Safeguarding the health and safety of our consumers and protecting the environment is of paramount importance for us as a brand. Adidas is committed to following global best practices and complying with the strictest international safety requirements.”

Jimena Diaz Leiva, the science director at CEH, told Global News that activewear shirts, sports bras, leggings and shorts are the new product categories for which the CEH served legal notice.

“But we’re ongoing in this research, so there’s certainly more to come. It’s pretty ubiquitous. This type of fabric seems to be kind of a problem across a lot of brands.”

BPA is an industrial chemical used in making polycarbonate, a type of plastic commonly found in food and beverage containers such as cans and reusable water bottles.

It has been linked to a variety of health problems, such as brain and behavioural issues in babies and children as well as high blood pressure and infertility. Some studies suggest exposure to BPA may make people more prone to obesity and even cause premature death.

The workout gear CEH tested included leggings, sports bras, athletic shorts and athletic shirts that are primarily made of polyester and also contain some spandex.


Where does Canada stand on BPA?

While Canada has previously acknowledged that BPA “may pose a risk to human life or health,” there is currently no comprehensive regulation in place similar to California’s.

However, Cassie Barker, the toxics senior program manager at Environmental Defence, an advocacy organization, said there are specific restrictions for the chemical in Canada.

For example, in 2010, the federal government formally declared BPA to be toxic and banned its use in baby bottles. Canada has set a limit on the amount of BPA that can be present in polycarbonate plastic baby food containers and in infant formula packaging. 

“But that’s such a specific small use of where BPA is being used as a plasticizer,” Barker explained. “And they are in all kinds of other applications … in our cash receipts whenever we buy something, through what we consume, and then in these contact materials where we absorb BPA through our skin.”

While BPA is listed on Environment Canada’s list of toxic substances alongside arsenic, asbestos, lead and mercury, Health Canada also concludes that the current amount of BPA exposure Canadians get from food and beverage containers is low enough that it doesn’t pose a health risk when used in those products. 

“It is important for Canadians to understand that just because a chemical may be detected in a consumer product or in our bodies, it does not necessarily mean it is causing harm,” a Health Canada spokesperson stated in an email to Global News.

Health Canada explained to Global News via email that instead of using a specific safety limit for chemicals (like California did with BPA), it uses margins of exposure (MOE) as a metric to assess potential risks.

The MOE is calculated by establishing a level of exposure that is not anticipated to cause harm to human health and dividing it by the estimated level of human exposure, the spokesperson said. A higher MOE means a greater margin of safety between potential health effects and exposure to a substance.

Health Canada said in 2008, it conducted a risk assessment of BPA and found human exposure can result from food packing, the environment and from use of consumer products. However, reproductive and developmental toxicity effects were evaluated and found ” there were no health concerns for the general population at current levels of exposure, but that there was a potential concern for infants.”

Although Global News asked Health Canada about BPA in clothing such as sportswear, the regulator did not mention clothing in their response.


Industry as gatekeepers

Under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act, a company is not allowed to manufacture or import into the country, advertise or sell a product — such as sportswear — that is “a danger to human health or safety.”

Health Canada also says it regularly monitors the marketplace and tests products to verify that products sold in the country are safe, including performing routine compliance verification on consumer products.

“It’s often left to industry to be their own gatekeeper on these issues, which is a huge problem,” Barker said. “We really need people to believe in the fact that what’s on the shelf is safe. We need the government to actually be doing that testing to make sure that things like BPA aren’t in contact with our bodies in all these ways throughout the day.”

As a consumer, Barker said, it is challenging to determine the presence of BPA or other toxic chemicals in sports gear because such additives are often undisclosed and unlabeled in textiles that come into direct contact with our bodies.

“Ideally, companies would be phasing out all of these substances in our clothing so that we wouldn’t be trying to figure out whether there is a coating on our clothing that we wear so close to our bodies all day long,” she said.


What can consumers do?

The question of a safe threshold for BPA exposure remains debated, as conflicting studies present different conclusions, with some indicating potential health concerns even at low doses, while others suggest no significant risks.

Despite the ongoing debate, BPA has still been declared as a significant risk for cancers like breast, ovarian, cervical, prostate and lung, and has been linked to reproductive abnormalities, Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

“For consumers, what we recommend right now is trying to limit … (the time) in your activewear,” Diaz Leiva said. “One thing you can do is try and take those clothes off afterward (your workout), and as much as you can, limit the exposure.”

“It’s very disappointing that in 2023, these major companies like Nike and Adidas don’t have chemical policies where they test their products before they go to market for these very harmful substances,” she added.

The exact motives for companies including BPA in their clothing are not fully clear, she said, speculating that it could be a deliberate choice or an unintended consequence of utilizing recycled materials.

Barker believes that regardless of whether a company is aware of the presence of chemicals, it is their responsibility to know what’s in their products.

“If a plasticizer is being applied somewhere in their supply chain, that may not be easy to track,” she said. “But it is fairly easy to test that final product for the chemicals that are present and to address that before it hits the shelf.”

She added that as a consumer, she believes it’s crucial to actively voice concerns and inquire about the contents of the products from these companies.

“But I think even more important is to tell elected officials that you don’t want to have to be trying to figure out what’s in your products. You want them to make sure the rules are strong and comprehensive so that these products aren’t even coming into Canada in the first place.”

— with files from The Canadian Press



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Charge laid after multi-vehicle collision caused by geese crossing E.C. Row expressway –



Windsor police say a driver is facing a careless driving charge after stopping on the E.C. Row Expressway to let a family of geese cross the road.

This led to a collision involving a pickup truck and a transport truck, according to Staff Sgt. Rob Wilson.

“It sounds like a vehicle had stopped for a baby goose crossing the E.C. Row [Expressway],” he said.


“Another vehicle stopped and the transport truck collided with a portion of the pickup truck, causing it to veer off the ditch and roll over onto its side.”

Wilson said the transport truck driver was transported to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Driver describes geese crossing

Dale Cormier was driving eastbound toward Tecumseh when he spotted the geese starting to cross one of Windsor’s busiest roadways.

“Oh my God, I just missed them,” said Cormier, recalling three or four adult geese and nearly a dozen goslings by their side.

“It was just a little family of them.” 

Cormier said once he passed the geese he noticed other drivers trying to avoid them in his rearview mirror. 

“Lucky for me, I had enough time … I just saw the cars swerving behind me,” he said.

He doesn’t think any of the geese were injured. He called police as soon as it was safe to do so. 

“They didn’t believe me at first.”

Cormier said that there wasn’t likely anything a driver could have done to avoid hitting the geese, but said people should be more cautious while driving.

He said drivers were traveling at high speeds and bumper to bumper. 

Police expect the eastbound lanes to be reduced for most of the day as they remove the transport truck.

Driving instructor provides advice

If drivers face a similar situation, they should make sure nobody is behind them before stopping, says Tristan Wallen, an instructor at Delta Driving School.

“Don’t stop in the middle of the road,” he said. “You want to get off the road, especially on a [fast]-moving road.”

Wallen says instructors teach their students that “a human life is worth a lot more than an animal.”

“You don’t want to cause someone else to get injured because you were trying to save some a goose or a squirrel or whatever it was crossing the street,” he continued.

The Ministry of Transportation’s Driver’s Handbook says in instances when animals are on the road, drivers should slow down and try to pass carefully “as they may suddenly bolt onto the road.”

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Halifax-area wildfire 85% contained and not expected to spread, officials say –



If the power or data on your device is low, get your wildfire updates on CBC Lite. It’s our low-bandwidth, text-only website.

A wildfire burning northwest of Halifax is now 85 per cent contained, as Nova Scotia is getting much-needed rain Saturday.

Dave Steeves, a technician of forest resources with the Department of Natural Resources, said the fire hasn’t grown and is still about 950 hectares in size.


“We have changed from ‘out of control’ to a state of being held,” Steeves said during a media briefing early Saturday.

He said that means the fire is not likely to spread.

“The rain that we are getting now is going to help the suppression issues, but that being said this fire is not out and it will not be declared out for some time.”

He said any additional resources will be heading down to Shelburne County, where a massive wildfire is burning.

Some residents who had been evacuated from the area were allowed to return home on Friday, including those on Lucasville Road, St. George Boulevard and in the Stillwater Lake area.

Another livestreamed briefing is scheduled for 5 p.m. Saturday. 

Comfort centres

The Halifax Regional Municipality declared a local state of emergency Sunday night in order to access additional support.

Late Friday, the municipality said some resources were no longer required. 

The comfort centre at the Beaver Bank Kinsac Community Centre has closed, and the Canada Games Centre has transitioned from a 24-hour evacuation centre to a comfort centre.

Comfort centres remain open at

  • Canada Games Centre | 26 Thomas Raddall Drive will operate as a comfort centre from noon to 9 p.m. on Saturday, June 3.
  • Black Point and Area Community Centre | 8579 St. Margarets Bay Road will be open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, June 3.

According to a release, Nova Scotia Health’s mobility primary care clinic is hosting a drop-in clinic at the Canada Games Centre on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Major insurance companies will be available to speak with affected residents on Saturday at the Canada Games Centre. Future opportunities to speak with representatives will be available in the coming days.


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Hundreds killed after passenger trains derail in India, officials say



At least 233 people were killed and 900 were injured when two passenger trains collided in India’s Odisha state, a government official said on Saturday, making the rail accident the country’s deadliest in more than a decade.

The death toll from Friday’s crash is expected to increase, state Chief Secretary Pradeep Jena said in a tweet.

He said over 200 ambulances had been called to the scene of the accident in Odisha’s Balasore district and 100 additional doctors, on top of 80 already there, had been mobilized.

Early on Saturday morning, Reuters video footage showed police officials moving bodies covered in white cloths off the railway tracks.


Footage from Friday showed rescuers climbing up the mangled wreck of one of the trains to find survivors, while passengers called for help and sobbed next to the wreckage.

People gather around a derailed train coach, with some standing on top of it.
Rescuers search for people after two passenger trains derailed in Balasore district, in eastern India, on Friday. (Press Trust of India/The Associated Press)

2 express trains collided

The collision occurred at about 7 p.m. local time on Friday when the Howrah Superfast Express, running from Bangalore to Howrah, West Bengal, collided with the Coromandel Express, which runs from Kolkata to Chennai.

Authorities have provided conflicting accounts on which train derailed first to become entangled with the other. The Ministry of Railways said it has initiated an investigation into the crash.

Although Chief Secretary Jena and some media reports have suggested a freight train was also involved in the crash, railway authorities have yet to comment on that possibility.

An extensive search-and-rescue operation has been mounted, involving hundreds of fire department personnel and police officers as well as sniffer dogs. National Disaster Response Force teams were also at the site.

Rescuers wearing hard hats work on a derailed train.
Rescuers work at the derailment site on Friday. (Press Trust of India/The Associated Press)

On Friday, hundreds of young people lined up outside a government hospital in Odisha’s Soro to donate blood.

According to Indian Railways, its network facilitates the transportation of more than 13 million people every day. But the state-run monopoly has had a patchy safety record because of aging infrastructure.

Odisha’s Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik declared a day of state mourning on June 3 as a mark of respect to the victims.


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