Picture this: You’ve been going to the gym consistently for a few months and seeing great results. You’re shedding pounds and loving your look. But what if we told you your daily gym habit, a resolution for health, was permanently harming your body in irreversible ways?

Unfortunately, this may be the ugly truth due to the harmful chemicals gyms use to disinfect machines. On this episode of MarketScale Building Management Podcast, President and CEO of Ionogen John Shanahan gives his take on the risks associated with these common gym chemicals.

Shanahan explained how these toxic chemicals, known as “quaternary disinfectants,” are “endocrine disruptors.” This means hormones, be they testosterone or estrogen, are thrown out of whack, and livers and kidneys are thrown into overdrive.

The saddest part of the equation? Quaternary disinfectants don’t even kill anything. To work, they must remain on the machine, in a damp state, for three to five minutes. So how do facility managers safely sanitize gym machines? Shanahan explained the straightforward solution – hypochlorous acid.

A sister to bleach, hypochlorous acid is 80 times more effective than bleach, non-toxic, non-poisonous, and collapses into the water. Hypochlorous acid is already found naturally inside our bodies, produced by our white blood cells. Shanahan endorsed it completely, saying it is “..colorless, tasteless and odorless…When sprayed on machines, it is an instant kill to pathogens on the machine.” Sadly, it’s not widely adopted among gymnasiums, but gym-goers can be the change, asking staff to use this method of disinfectant.

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