March 11, 2009

Study questions smell-resistant clothes

Exercise clothing that promises to eliminate unwanted odors contains silver ions that can threaten the environment, researchers in Sweden say.

Researchers at Sweden's Gothenburg Environmental Administration said in a study that the ions responsible for ridding the clothing of sweaty odors and other undesirable smells can be washed out of the items, the Swedish news agency TT said Wednesday.

Once out of the workout clothing, the silver ions can go down drains and can cause environmental problems, the researchers suggest. Specific details of their environmental consequences were not reported.

The study said because the ions can be simply washed out of the exercise togs, the clothing's heralded anti-bacterial abilities last only for a few washings.

The report said the Ahlens department store chain in Sweden has pulled at least one clothing item, a sock, from store shelves.