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German Product Testers Reject Soccer’s Vanishing Spray Foam

MAINZ, Germany — It was the surprise hit of the soccer World Cup in Brazil: Vanishing foam spray used to mark where to take free kicks from. But the shaving cream-like substance will not be appearing— let alone vanishing — in the professional league of the champions Germany, thanks to the country’s strict product testers. "We detected a high percentage of propellant in the product," Ralf Diekmann from the TÜV Rheinland safety testing service told NBC News. He said the Argentina-manufactured spray was not compatible with German laws because it "was neither marked with warnings in German nor did it have an inflammable symbol on the can."

The water-based spray disappears after one minute and proved popular with soccer fans during the tournament. Following its success, it has been adopted in Italy, Spain and the English Premier League. The German experts describe themselves as "the leading and most competent provider of product testing and certifications." They said the product also contains parabens, which can have a "hormonal effect when applied to the skin." Germany’s DFL soccer league said it was looking for alternatives.

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- Andy Eckardt