The EU consumer watchdog BEUC have announced that testing has shown that nine of the sixteen first choice shirts of the Euro 2012 finalists contain "worrying" levels of chemicals and may pose a health risk.
Six of the shirts - Spain, Germany, Russia, Ukraine, France and Italy - were found to contain lead, a heavy metal, with the Spanish and German shirts (both adidas) carrying an amount exceeding the legal limit for children's products. The Portugal and Holland shirts (both Nike) were found to contain nickel.
Buy Football t-shirts at footytees.com - New shirts every week
The most dangerous shirt was that of Poland, with the BEUC statement saying that it should be "banned outright" as its levels of an organotin compound - included to reduce sweat odour - could be toxic to the nervous system.
adidas and Nike produce the majority of these shirts - four each - and Puma the only other implicated manufacturer, in the form of the Italy shirt. The only Euro 2012 manufacturer unaffected is Umbro, producing the playing wear of England, Ireland and Sweden.
BEUC director-general Monique Goyens said: "Football fans pay up to 90 euros (£73) for the shirt of their favourite team. The least they should expect is to have a quality and safe product.
"It is inexplicable that heavy metals are used in mass consumer products. It is clearly foul play by manufacturers to use substances harmful to both people and the environment.
"Our members' test results are a sad reminder that Europe's chemicals legislation is unfit for the purpose of banning dangerous substances from consumer products."
Ms Goyens said a plan to deal with "endocrine-disrupting chemicals" would be an opportunity for the EU to be on the offensive against harmful chemicals."