Read the full story in Environmental Health News.
Eleven-year-old Katya Olsen has practiced gymnastics since she was two years old. Now in sixth grade, she trains for competitions four hours a day, five days a week at a gym near her home in Arlington, Va.
Katya’s gym, like most, contains an enormous pit filled with thousands of foam blocks – a soft landing for gymnasts learning new tricks.
Now research suggests that young gymnasts may be exposed to hormone-disrupting chemicals from ingesting or inhaling dust created by these polyurethane blocks.
A small study of collegiate gymnasts detected four to 6.5 times more flame retardants in their blood than in the general U.S. population’s.