Is Your Favorite Workout Supplement Toxic?
The other day I received some supplement samples from Beast Sports and I was pretty excited to hit the gym and try some of them out. The packet for their Re-Animate product in particular sounded interesting. That is, until I read the label and saw, on the back of the label, buried at the bottom of the fine print was a notice saying: “Proposition 65 Warning: This product contains chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm.”
What does this mean exactly? Proposition 65 in California was passed in 1986 and was created to reduce exposure to hazardous chemicals in California. Prop 65 requires California to “…publish a list of chemicals known to cause cancer or birth defects or other reproductive harm.” To date, that list includes approximately 800 different chemicals. The latest update to the list was on January 23, 2015, and you can download the list by clicking here.
Call me ignorant if you will, but I guess I never really paid close attention to labels on products I consume, looking for things like this. I’ve seen the Prop 65 notices in warehouses, at gas stations, and so forth, but it didn’t occur to me that a product intended to help you get healthy, would require this disclosure.
According to the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA):
The list contains a wide range of naturally occurring and synthetic chemicals that are known to cause cancer or birth defects or other reproductive harm. These chemicals include additives or ingredients in pesticides, common household products, food, drugs, dyes, or solvents. Listed chemicals may also be used in manufacturing and construction, or they may be byproducts of chemical processes, such as motor vehicle exhaust.
The OEHHA website goes on to explain that there are four ways that a chemical is added to the list, the least concerning qualifier is:
…if an agency of the state or federal government requires that it be labeled or identified as causing cancer or birth defects or other reproductive harm. Most chemicals listed in this manner are prescription drugs that are required by the U.S. FDA to contain warnings relating to cancer or birth defects or other reproductive harm.
What does this mean? I’m not 100% clear, but my guess is that using a product (i.e.: a prescription) as directed will be safe, however, abuse of those product’s ingredients could cause problems. If that’s the case, then it’s makes sense. It goes without saying, though, that I’m certainly no chemist or doctor and while I’m not trying to say “stay away from Beast Sports,” I do think this information is important.
At the end of the day, everyone should decide for themselves what exactly the presence of a Prop 65 warning on their supplements means to them – if anything at all. If you’re reading this and you happen to be an expert, please do leave a comment so we can keep discussing this!
Header photo credit: HaPe_Gera