GC032: Flame Retardants in Pit Foam Are DANGEROUS

Dr. Courtney Carignan: The Dangers of Flame Retardants in Foam

Welcome back to another Gymnast Care Podcast Season 2, where we’re welcoming Dr. Courtney Carignan, a Harvard researcher who specializes in environmental sciences. Many of you remember Dr. Carignan from Episode 22 of the Gymnast Care Podcast where she explained the dangers of pit foam laced with flame retardants. She had published a paper showing the lasting effects of flame retardants in foam in gymnasts.

In July, she published a follow up study to the initial study that confirmed the harmful chemicals in the blood of gymnasts, and she showed that 89% of gym’s foam still contain dangerous chemicals!

89% of gym’s foam still contains dangerous chemicals!

So What Do We Do About This?

So then the question comes up, what do we do about this? Dr. Carignan suggests 3 points to protect your gymnasts:

  1. Gymnasts should WASH their hands before they eat
  2. Take a SHOWER when you get home from gym
  3. REPLACE the pit foam in your gym with pit foam that does not contain dangerous flame retardants

Someone Call The Fire Marshall

Dr. Carignan addresses this one on this episode as well. She answers the question, is this even an issue anymore?

Do you know what is really cool? A gym owner in Seattle, WA took the initiative and replaced all of his foam in every one of the gyms he owns. He sent an email out to his entire organization and told them he wanted to do the right thing! How cool is that…he was serious about protecting gymnasts.

But not everyone felt that way.

Haters in The Crowd

So last time, we got some pretty interesting (nasty is more like it) emails on this one, and there were some gym owners that were worried about getting sued…so they called their “expert” friends, who then sent more nasty emails to us.

Sending us emails with nasty comments doesn’t really do much good, because we’re not going away any time soon! We’re here to help.

Now, Dr. Carignan provides more information for gym owners and gymnasts about these chemicals and their hazards.

Help out your gym owners and point them towards the podcast so they can help all of the children in their gym stay healthy!

This is a big deal and we want to see your gymnasts protected.

The Gymnast Collaborative Website

At Gymnast Care, we’re not the experts on flame retardants. Our mission is to help you protect your gymnast’s health. Here is the link to Dr. Carignan’s website and it is packed full of the information you need:

The Gymnast Collaborative Website

Once your there, do a couple things:

  • Sign up for the email list
  • Send your pit cubes to get tested
  • Read the amazing information

Then, come back here and leave a comment and let us know how Dr. Carignan helped you!

If you like what you’ve heard on the podcast, join our email list and our team. Get information to protect your gymnast from injury and see their performance soar! Click here to join.

Thanks again for joining us and we’ll see you next time right here on the Gymnast Care Podcast.

Dr. Joshua Eldridge

About Dr. Joshua Eldridge

Dr. Joshua Eldridge has specialized in protecting gymnasts from injury. He is the inventor of The X Brace, and has developed a treatment protocol for Sever's disease and heel pain that has helped thousands of gymnasts throughout the world. Dr. Eldridge brings practical, easy injury care and prevention that can be done at home.