Press Releases

Toxic Fitness: New Testing Finds Toxic Chemical in Popular Latex Workout Bands

Center for Environmental Health Sends Legal Notices to Nine Companies for Failing to Warn California Consumers

OAKLAND, CA–Testing by the Center for Environmental Health (CEH) has found cancer-causing nitrosamines, NDEA and NDMA, in latex workout bands sold by major national brands, including Adidas, Amazon Basics, and GoFit. Nitrosamines are a byproduct of latex processing and several are listed under California’s consumer protection law Proposition 65 because they are known by the State to cause cancer. CEH has sent legal notices to nine companies for violating the consumer protection law by failing to warn customers about this potential health threat.

Test findings show that these nine latex workout bands contain NDEA and NDMA at up to 6,000 times the levels allowed under California law without a warning. Resistance bands have increased in popularity in recent years, especially during the coronavirus pandemic, as an inexpensive and accessible way to strength train at home. Nitrosamine contamination of latex products is well known; for example, a 2019 study showed that latex gloves used in food handling posed significant dermal exposure to nitrosamines. CEH’s research suggests that our lab tests are the first to look specifically at nitrosamines in workout bands. 

Companies are required to warn consumers when they are facing such health threats. By taking the issue directly to companies that make and sell these potentially dangerous products, CEH’s goal is to create a legally binding standard that will reduce or eliminate the exposure and protect consumers from health risks, not just in California, but across the country.

“As someone who uses resistance bands, this issue is personal,” said Emily Reder, the Research Manager at CEH who led the testing. “No one should be exposed to carcinogenic chemicals, especially from products marketed to help improve your health.”

Notices were filed today against Merrithew, GoFit, Team Beachbody, Amazon Basics, All in Motion (Target), Adidas, Bloom Method, Fit Simplify and Bala Bands. Defendants will have 70 days to work with CEH to remedy the violations before CEH files a complaint to do so.