why does nordictrack have a cancer warning

Why Does NordicTrack Have a Cancer Warning: Should You Be Concerned?

Hi everyone!

Today, I’ve got a serious subject on my mind- cancer warning labels on certain products.

Let’s be honest with one another. In our modern-day society, it seems like nearly everything has been linked to some form of cancer, but we can’t very well avoid the world, can we?

That doesn’t mean we should dive head-first into a vat of hazmat waste, but we CAN take commonsense steps to limit our exposure to cancer risks, such as not smoking or eating a diet high in processed meats.

Why do NordicTrack treadmills and other machines have a cancer warning? Whether it’s a bike, a treadmill, or a rowing machine, you’ll probably see a sticker with a warning label.

The warnings are in compliance with the Proposition 65 law, which is being implemented by California State’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. Consumers have the right to know when a product contains any of the 800-plus chemicals or materials in the P65 list.

Should you be concerned? Let’s talk more about this.

What Are the P65 Warning Labels That I See?

P65 Warning Labels

P65 or Prop 65 comes from a California state initiative known as Proposition 65, which was passed by voters.

Consumers in California decided that they wanted to know if a product they were buying contained cancer-causing materials or chemicals.

Well, shoot, since darn near everything in the world can be linked to some type of cancer, I believe most companies simply want to hedge their bets and avoid any possible lawsuits so they stick a P65 sticker on everything.

This doesn’t mean that the P65 warning label is useless, but I do think you should take it with a big bag of salt.

This proposition requires businesses to add this label to anything that might even remotely cause cancer, which leads them to put this label on things like pencils, alcoholic beverages, some food items, and especially baby toys.

Although Proposition 65 applies only to products made or sold in California, many companies simply slap the label on all their products (such as NordicTrack equipment) since they don’t know which state they will be sold in.

What Does It Mean When a Label Warns about Cancer or Reproductive Harm?

There are two basic, possible cancer-causing mechanisms when speaking of exercise equipment.

some examples of things containing or made of PVC The first is PVC. Polyvinyl chloride, sometimes simply called vinyl, plastic, or PVC, is a very durable type of plastic that isn’t affected easily by sunlight, chemicals, or regular wear and tear.

PVC is extremely common and found in so many things, I couldn’t list them all, but a short list of common items includes:

  • Pipes and plumbing
  • Roofing material
  • Shower curtains
  • Tents
  • Siding
  • Car parts
  • Raincoats
  • Medical devices
  • Packing/Packaging material

The second threat from many types of fitness equipment is electromagnetic radiation. Fitness machines with motors (such as treadmills) emit a non-ionizing type of radiation. While this type of radiation won’t break apart atoms, it can alter your cells, which is not a good thing.

Electromagnetic Radiation

Note the word “can”. There is a hitch in all this. Has anyone ever seen a death certificate that says “killed by treadmill overuse”?

CAN does not mean it WILL.

As I said in my intro, it would be nearly impossible to avoid all PVC or electric motors for that matter, but is there a real danger or threat? Let’s address that question next.

Should I Worry about the Prop 65 Warning on My NordicTrack?

Just as much as you should worry about using refrigerators, laptops, stainless steel, water filter/purifiers, furniture, baby toys, and many other products you have at home. Like your NordicTrack, most if not all of these items bear the P65 warning label.

NordicTrack RW900 rowing machine

You’ll find these warnings in amusement parks, hotels, restaurants, service stations, and many other places you and your family go to without hesitation. Do these places pose a real danger or threat to you?

What I’m saying is that the Proposition 65 cancer warning is a way to inform buyers of the materials used in manufacturing a product or present in a place, but it’s also not a reason to be overly alarmed or worried.

Why Does NordicTrack Have a Cancer Warning?

Californian laws require the P65 warning for products containing their listed chemicals and materials to inform buyers of the hazards posed by these ingredients/materials/chemicals.

The label on NordicTrack fitness machines means that exposure to PVC plastic and/or electromagnetic radiation can pose some health hazards including cancer, which is not the same as saying your treadmill causes cancer.

Nordictrack elliptical

The fact is that not a single study has linked your bike, rowing machine, elliptical, or treadmill to cancer. There is a difference between exposing a mouse to high levels of PVC and real-life encounters where you use your treadmill 3-5 hours per week.

One study showed that people who used treadmills for more than 3 hours per week had a higher rate of bladder cancer. Another found that those using a treadmill for more than 5 hours a week had a higher rate of colon cancer. Does this mean that everyone who uses a treadmill will get cancer of the bladder or colon?

Of course not.

There are many other factors to consider. Remember that correlation does not equal causation, which is to say that just because someone got cancer, it doesn’t mean that X was the cause.

NordicTrack Commercial Series Treadmills + 30-Day iFIT Family membership

For example a 90-year-old eats a chocolate bar every day and dies of lung cancer, do you think it was the chocolate bar? Perhaps she smoked for 40 years? Perhaps lung cancer runs in her family?

The point is that without hard evidence to prove that the treadmill was definitely the cause of bladder or colon cancer, no one would be willing to say that it was the treadmill that was the cause.

By the way, it’s not just NordicTrack exercise equipment that has these warning labels. You’ll see them on just about everything you buy, especially in California.

Is There Exercise Equipment Without These Warning Labels?

I’m not sure if you could find one, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist!

I believe that most companies:

  1. Don’t know where their product will be sold, so they put the sticker on to be on the safe side and avoid being banned from doing business in California.
  2. As a side bet, manufacturers want to cover their behinds as much as possible. To avoid any potential lawsuits from people in other states who are using their products, they will put the P65 sticker on their workout equipment so no one can say they were unaware of the possible dangers.

I don’t believe there are any pieces of workout equipment that don’t have a warning label or that don’t contain some type of PVC, plastic, or chemicals that are linked to developing cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm.

What Steps Can I Take to Reduce Health Risks?

Steps to Reduce Health Risks when using fitness machines with P65 warning

To reduce any possible risk that might be present when you use your fitness equipment, you can practice the following:

  • Always use your fitness equipment in a well-ventilated area. If you’ve ever unwrapped a new shower curtain and smelled that unmistakable odor of new plastic, you understand why. These chemicals are not intended to be inhaled in large concentrations. Use a fan to blow the odors away from you and open the windows and doors as much as possible.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Choose a low-emission product. You should be able to find this information on the manufacturer’s website. Some fitness equipment have lower levels of chemicals than others.
  • If you decide to use your equipment outdoors, find a shady spot or wear sunscreen.
  • Check for recalls.
  • Unplug your equipment after each use.
  • Avoid keeping your fitness equipment in the rooms you use the most- such as the bedroom or living room. You can use it in those rooms but then store the device elsewhere, like the garage or a guest room.

At the End of the Day What You Should Know

When all is said and done, be smart about the products that you bring into your home, especially if it concerns your health.

The beneficial aspects of treadmills and bikes far outweigh any possible cancer risk, but that doesn’t mean you should sleep next to your treadmill.

If you have any health concerns or questions, speak with your trusted healthcare professional.

Stay healthy and safe, my friends!