Another Contaminated New Jersey
German retailers pulled Nike soccer jerseys from store shelves yesterday because of a televised report that the shirts contained a potentially harmful fungicide. On Tuesday, a business news show reported that it had tested randomly chosen consumer products for traces of chemicals and found that souvenir jerseys made by Nike contained tributyltin, which is used on boat hulls to discourage barnacle growth and in textiles to kill bacteria. It is unclear whether the fungicide — which can cause skin irritation and burns, and at high levels can cause nerve and liver problems — was deliberately applied to the jerseys. A Nike spokesperson said the company was testing the shirts in its labs, but it was not recalling the jerseys from its own stores. The Green Party has called on the Bavarian parliament to conduct its own investigation into the presence of tributyltin in clothing and other textiles.