Toxic Fitness Gyms

You workout, you sweat your butt off, you put time, energy and money into exercising to get healthy, right? So to hear that time spent in a gym might actually harm you would shock you, wouldn’t it? Well brace yourself, because this is the big secret of the fitness industry.

Many of the gym tools you use to whip yourself into shape: balls, mats, rollers etc., are potentially very harmful to your body. How, you ask? Most are produced of very cheap, very harmful toxic chemicals. Chemicals you then rub all over your body, inhale deeply, and generally absorb into the body you are trying so hard to take care of.

It’s a very real, very serious problem. Here are some of the worst chemicals you commonly see in gym equipment.



Recognize these guys? Of course you do! Self massage tools like foam rollers have exploded into gyms over the last 10 years as fitness buffs discovered the incredible benefits of self myofascial release. And mats and physio balls are as much a staple in a gym as a barbell.

So what’s wrong with them? Well, nearly all are made of a potent vinyl compound called Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA). Toxic substances in EVA include ammonia and formamide, both of which are extremely corrosive on contact and harmful if inhaled.

EVA is also harmful for its tendency to “off-gas,” to release chemicals under normal temperature or pressure. You know how when you paint or varnish the scent remains for days? Same thing with EVA, even though it claims to be odor-free. Read more about off gassing here.

Side effects of EVA include: eye and skin irritation, reproduction problems, fetal development problems and potential cancer risks.

Wait, and you’re rolling around on these?



Rubber seems like a good idea in a gym, right? Well consider that rubber contains up to seventeen heavy metals, not to mention multiple carcinogens, dioxins and chlorine concentrations higher than those found in coal! Maybe not such a good idea.

Side effects of all that stuff? There’s certainly too many to name here. Dioxins have been linked to everything from lung problems to diabetes. The U.S. Evironmental Protection Agency says dioxin is 300,000 times more potent as a carcinogen than DDT! And heavy metals may be responsible for reproductive problems, nervous system disorders, etc.

You’re going to absorb all that through off-gassing, ingestion and absorption. Pretty soon that body you treat as a temple could become a temple of doom.

3. PVC


I’m all for saving a buck to put towards the next Game of Thrones book, but there’s always a point when the cost is just worth it. Take for instance, purchasing a cheap, compact roller. These things are manufactured for just a couple bucks and are usually made almost exclusively of harmful chemicals.

EVA? Yep, they’ve got EVA and all the side effects that go with it. Rubber? Often, yes. And now they throw in a little polyvinyl chloride (PVC). PVC is a vinyl compound similar to EVA except it has an added chlorine molecule, making it even more toxic. Our old nemesis, dioxin, is rampant in PVC.

With all that to consider, and remembering that you’ll be rolling these things all over your body, don’t you think it’s worth spending the money to buy a product without all those chemicals?

Don’t be fooled by the hype. These chemicals are very toxic. Use at your own risk!

There you have it, three extremely potent and harmful chemicals and no one in the fitness industry is saying anything about it. So what can you do to avoid it? Why not read this _blog_ about why the creators of Travel Roller worked so hard to ensure TravelRoller is completely free of any rubber, EVA, PVC and latex.

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