“We take what has happened very seriously and have promised the customer that we will do everything we can to help find the cause of the unpleasant occurrence,” said Charlotte Högberg, head of information at the women’s fashion store Kappahl that retailed the bikini.
However, when an independent company tested the used bra, as well as one that was unused, they found that the chemical content of the two bikinis were different, but they could find nothing to corroborate the claim that it was the metal underwiring of the bra that was the cause of the burns.
However, in the chemical evaluation the company detected the chemical Oxybenzone, an organic compound used in sun screens which is relatively common in the US but is not allowed to be used in European products without a specific marking within the EU.
The reason why the marking is required is because in intensive light it can cause skin reactions reminiscent of burns.
The company also said that despite selling over 100,000 underwired bikinis a year, they have never before heard of any connection between the underwiring and sunbathing.
The testing, however, was important for them as they wanted to make sure it was not their bra that caused the woman’s discomfort.
“It is important to us that our customers are feeling safe with our garments, both when it comes to dangerous chemicals and other defects,” Högberg said.