Toxic Gyms - Are they worth the tradeoff with minimal harm?

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#16 Postby willpeavy » Mon Mar 27, 2006 10:25 pm

If you're in the U.S., the chance of a gym a year old having asbestos, radon, or lead paint is miniscule.

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#17 Postby Aaron » Mon Mar 27, 2006 10:54 pm

I know I have to just address that and overcome it or seek help rather then just avoiding life in general.


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#18 Postby nik » Tue Mar 28, 2006 4:35 pm

willpeavy wrote:If you're in the U.S., the chance of a gym a year old having asbestos, radon, or lead paint is miniscule.

No, thank god. But there are many other chemicals and toxins in materials and paints and other things in buildings. VOC's etc. And the newer the materials the more they are still offgasing. When I first moved into my apt. it was just finished construction on it as I was moving in. One whole area of it was all made with some type of plastic material etc. I had major symptoms and each time I walked in I could smell the difference, then not notice it after a while. But I had major sleep problems, felt drugged, tired and spacey (brain fog) all the time and started breaking out a lot. Now, years later, all the smells are gone and so are the weird symptoms I got all of a sudden after I moved in. They only lasted a few months, those were the worst.

I'll just pay attention to any symptoms closely. We haven't gotten rid of all toxic materials and substances in buildings. We need to though. We need to go green.

"Among the biggest indoor-air-polluting culprits identified by M&O are pressed-wood products like plywood and particleboard, which are assembled using urea-formaldehyde (UF) glues and adhesives. Formaldehyde has been deemed a probable human carcinogen by the EPA. It's also a known irritant that can cause or exacerbate allergic reactions. Nevertheless, it continues to be widely used to manufacture construction materials and household furniture and is commonly found in cabinets and paneling, walls, floors, textiles, and roofs. Formaldehyde is also used to produce permanent-press clothing and curtains, as well as to preserve some paints. All of these products can "offgas" formaldehyde, contributing to poor indoor air quality.

"All of us are exposed to a certain amount of formaldehyde everyday," says George Semeniuk, EPA Formaldehyde Project Manager in the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics. "What concerns us are elevated levels."

Perhaps the scariest thing about indoor air pollution is that you don't have to do anything in particular to put yourself in harm's way. Just going about your daily business is enough. The chairs on which you sit, the desk at which you work, and the kitchen in which you eat are all possible sources of formaldehyde.

Because formaldehyde and other indoor air pollutants can induce symptoms that look very much like the common cold or flu, faulty diagnoses are not uncommon. To avoid this pitfall, the EPA's Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) division recommends that you pay particular attention to where and when you experience symptoms. If you find yourself sniffling or coughing only after you come indoors, you may want to start investigating your home for possible contaminants."

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#19 Postby jonathan » Tue Mar 28, 2006 4:41 pm

You think your gym is bad? I bet the toxins floating about in my bathroom after I've had a bulkers no. 2 are far far worse! :lol:

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Re: Toxic Gyms - Are they worth the tradeoff with minimal ha

#20 Postby VeganRawandLovingIt » Sun Jun 10, 2012 5:38 pm

Hi Nik,
I was so pleased to read your posting about the toxicity of gym environments, and know that I am not alone in feeling like this. I recently moved house and joined a gym that has just refurbished itself and has a swimming pool. As soon as you get in the gym's car park your senses are assaulted by high levels of chlorine in the air, and when you enter the building it gets much worse as you are instantly inhaling a toxic cocktail of synthetic noxious fumes from the new fittings - floor and equipment aswell. Although there is air conditioning and fans to circulate the air, the quality of the air itself feels really bad... loaded with chemicals. And, as the whole point of going to a gym is to improve my health and fitness, I feel deeply uncomfortable with the fact that being there, and inhaling this air deeply, is counterproductive to all my efforts to cleanse and detox my body on a predominantly living foods diet. I *know* these chemicals are carcinogenic. So why do gyms do it??

I am also starting to wonder whether some people are simply becoming more sensitive to their environments in general, and that this is part of a broader picture - especially among vegans, that takes in the other senses aswell. For example, I am finding that I am having to leave the gym earlier than previously because I just can't bear the music they are playing on the sound system. I even walked out of a spinning class because the music actually became painful to my ears aswell as offensive.

I am hoping to increase my outdoor training, maybe join a local running club, although I am missing the fantastic weights classes my previous gym ran.

:idea: Maybe we should start a campaign for cleaner (ie non-toxic) gyms?

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Re: Toxic Gyms - Are they worth the tradeoff with minimal ha

#21 Postby Busomjack » Mon Jun 11, 2012 12:27 pm

No it's not worth it. Exercise should be about improving and maintaining good health, it doesn't make sense to compromise your health while exercising.

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Re: Toxic Gyms - Are they worth the tradeoff with minimal ha

#22 Postby Gaia » Mon Jun 11, 2012 4:11 pm

My gym is new, but thank goodness the owner is health conscientious and she finds all sorts of ways to get rid of toxic stuff. There is an older crowd in the morning, so they make quite a ruckus if the next door Hardware store has had a mishap of chemicals in their backroom, and it gets into the venting system. The owner is prone to open the front door, and then open the back door with a fan to take out the fumes - and it is usually gone in an hour or so - so that is when I come back to the gym when the nose says it is OK. They also use all natural cleaners to clean the gym thoroughly - so no harsh chemicals left on the equipment afterwards. Have you talked to the gym's owner and see where he/she stands on this issue? If they don't care about it, then they don't care about the health of their customers, and are in it only for the money. See if there is another gym around perhaps - even the ones who rent a storage unit and have equipment for you to use in it! or get your own weight bench and weights - start your own dumbbell collection!

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