There are over 30,000 health clubs with approximately 50 million members in the United States. Thousands of these gyms are located across California and are regularly visited by the state’s many health-conscious residents.
For most people, going to the gym and getting in a workout is a way to improve their athletic skills, personal appearance and overall health. Unfortunately, although many gyms and athletic training centers provide an excellent opportunity to achieve these goals, they are also often breeding grounds for many types of bacteria and fungi.
Any place that has a high concentration of people and where people come into contact with others can increase one’s risk of getting someone else’s infection. While these are often respiratory infections, gyms also provide an ideal opportunity for skin infections to spread. This is due to sweaty bodies coming into direct contact with shared equipment, mats, towels and locker rooms.
Last month, Popular Science published an article about microbial pathogens in weight rooms. The article discussed a recent study that took 356 samples from three gyms over two days. According to the article, researchers discovered a wide range of bacteria, including numerous types associated with skin infections.
“Skins infections are quite commonly associated with athletics,” said Jason Dobranic, Ph.D., Vice President of Microbiology and Life Sciences at LA Testing and EMSL Analytical, Inc. “In recent years, infections due to methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has had many athletes and health club members particularly concerned. MRSA is a type of staph bacteria that is resistant to certain antibiotics and can be difficult to treat. People who become infected with MRSA from the gym typically develop a skin infection and in some extreme cases, it can become life threatening. Other potential gym pathogens include Acinetobacter, Candida, Klebsiella and others.”
One company that is helping identify these pathogens in gyms and other facilities is LA Testing. Their laboratory provides a complete array of sampling supplies and testing services to identify these microbes to help prevent infections, pinpoint the source of an outbreak if one has already occurred, and to help verify disinfection procedures. LA Testing has also sponsored an online video about microbial pathogens and gyms that can be seen at: http://youtu.be/OZG7XsDTk5A.
About LA Testing
LA Testing is California’s leading laboratory for indoor air quality testing of asbestos, mold, lead, VOCs, formaldehyde, soot, char, ash and smoke damage, particulates and other substances. In addition, LA Testing offers a full range of air sampling and investigative equipment to professionals and the general public. LA Testing maintains an extensive list of accreditations including: AIHA LAP LLC., AIHA ELLAP, AIHA EMLAP and AIHA IHLAP, CDC ELITE, NVLAP, State of California, State of Hawaii Department of Health and other states. LA Testing, along with the EMSL Analytical, Inc. network, has multiple laboratories throughout California including South Pasadena, Garden Grove, San Leandro and San Diego.