- Hospitals across the country are warning against wearing workout leggings in MRI scanners because they could lead to burns on the skin.
- Metallic fibers inside brand name leggings from Lululemon and Athleta can move inside the scanner, which causes the burn.
- Hospitals suggest wearing cotton or hospital gowns.
Ladies-and some gents- we love our leggings, but you may want to ditch them next time you get an MRI. Patients are being told to leave their Lululemons at home and switch in to cotton T-shirts or hospital gowns before they head in for an MRI since a new study shows the fibers inside the leggings can actually burn you.
Hospitals across the country including Stony Brook University in New York, the University of California, and Mount Sinai hospitals are posting signs in their offices warning against wearing the leggings. Tiny meal threads are found woven within the most popular leggings-think Lululemon or Athleta- and while they may be good at wicking sweat, they’re not so good at preventing burns during an MRI scan.
One 11-year-old girl learned the hard way. She was sedated for her MRI scan for scoliosis and when she woke up, she was left with second degree burns. What she didn't know, considering there were no labels, was that her undershirt contained the metallic fibers.
So what exactly happens? An MRI scanner uses electromagnetism and radiowaves, so they basically become a powerful magnet. Any type of metal, including the tiny metal threads in sports leggings, could possibly move during the scan causing a burn. Researchers specifically warn against Lululemon leggings made with “Silverescent” technology that prevents odors, Gap’s Athleta brand leggings and Columbia Sportswear Omni-Heat line. If you’re unsure, since most metallic fibers are unnoticeable, look for labels on your clothes that say “anti-microbial” or “anti-bacterial” as those usually contain the “silver technology.” Your best bet is to just wear cotton or a hospital gown.