As the trampoline park market continues to grow across the world, the question regarding the safety of loose foam pits has been brought to the forefront. Loose foam pits have been necessary for gymnasts and other athletes for a number of decades as a means of absorbing impacts while training complex aerial maneuvers. Due to the fact that untreated foam pit blocks are highly flammable, fire retardants were introduced to tackle this issue. Over time foam blocks deteriorate and crumble releasing dust particles into the air. According to an open letter by Dr. Bill Sands, although fire retardants such as PentaBDEs were phased out in 2004, a number of other chemicals such as chlorinated-Tris and Firemaster 550 now used as flame retardants are also considered potentially hazardous to health. In 2013 a study was released by Dr. Carignan, an environmental epidemiologist and exposure scientist. The study presented some frightful evidence to support the claim that flame retardants were in fact dangerous to gymnasts and that they could be directly related to dust particles produced by loose foam pits. Please follow this link for more information: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3885979/
The above study is only one among many research projects that provide a considerable amount of evidence to support the argument that flame retardants used on foam pit blocks pose a serious health risk. Although gym owners and trampoline park owners can decrease the risk by reducing the amount of flame retardant that enters peoples bodies by washing their hands after practice and before they eat, this does not provide a conclusive solution. With trampoline parks opening foam pits to a wider market can the issue of flame retardants be ignored any further?
BigAirBag, the worlds leading manufacturer of airbags for sports applications does have a conclusive solution – The FOAM PIT BigAirBag. Custom built to replace loose foam pits the airbags offer a safe, soft and hygienic solution to the potential risk of fire retardants used on foam pit blocks.
The FOAM PIT BigAirBag not only provides a long awaited solution to the issue of foam block fire retardants, but it also comes with a lot of other benefits such as soft landings, increased jump frequency and reduced maintenance costs.
If you are a concerned gym owner, trampoline park owner, gymnast or coach, please follow the link below for more information regarding the foam pit BigAirBag: https://www.bigairbag.com/foam-pit/
For more information regarding the fire retardants used on gymnastic equipment, please follow this link: http://gymnastcare.com/are-foam-blocks-dangerous-to-gymnasts-by-dr-bill-sands