Boston, Massachusetts — US Olympic and other gymnasts with highly intensive training programmes are likely to have elevated levels of flame retardant biomarkers in their bodies, according to a study published by Environment International, a peer reviewed journal.
The paper published by six academics, Urinary biomarkers of flame retardant exposure among collegiate US gymnasts, said that "previous work has found elevated concentrations of flame retardants in the air and dust of a US gymnastics training facility and elevated PentaBDE in the serum of collegiate gymnasts."
The pilot study reported in Environment International compared biomarkers of other flame retardants including tris(1,3-dicholoro-2-propyl) phosphate (TDCIPP), triphenyl phosphate (TPHP) and 2-ethylhexyl-2,3,4,5-tetrabromobenzoate (EH-TBB) in samples collected from 11 collegiate gymnasts before and after practice.
A 50% increase in TPHP biomarker was found with no significant change in TDCIPP and no change for the EH-TBB biomarker. The study suggests that the training environment of gymnasts is likely to be a source of exposure, since flame retardants were found in 98% of the foam samples collected from gyms across the US.