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Germany agency says free-kick spray dangerous

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FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — A technical finding that the vanishing spray used in free-kick situations could be a health hazard, is not worrying the German Football Federation.

The spray that was used at the World Cup in Brazil contains parabens that are suspected of being "hormonally active," Germany's technical inspection agency (TueV) said on Friday. The agency makes safety inspections of products ranging from elevators to toys.

Parabens are often used as preservatives in cosmetics.

"In its present form, the product is not usable in Germany and the European Union," TueV spokesman Ralf Diekmann said.

The federation said it had not been aware of the study commissioned by Germany's biggest-selling newspaper.

"Regardless, we have been in contact already for weeks with other suppliers to find an alternative to the costly import from Argentina," said Lutz Michael Froehlich, the chief of the federation's department of referees.

"We are sure we are going to find a solution that will not be faulty," Froehlich added, pointing out that the federation referees are sponsored by another inspection agency.

The spray, used in several European leagues, is due to be introduced in the Bundesliga in mid-October.

The TueV said the packaging for the spray neglected to mention that the substance was highly flammable. Also, none of the packaging text was in German, and it also objected to the greenhouse effect and incomplete labeling.

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