Anyone Know about Varnish in a Sauna?

Home Forums Other Anyone Know about Varnish in a Sauna?

Topic: Anyone Know about Varnish in a Sauna?

Other February 2, 2012 at 2:39 pm

Anyone Know about Varnish in a Sauna?

I’m thinking about joining a gym, and one of the features that I really want is a dry sauna. I visited the most convenient gym for me, and when I opened the door to the sauna, was hit with a “fumey” smell. I noticed that all the wooden surfaces (the entire inside) of the sauna were coated in a high gloss varnish. Not only was the smell unpleasant, the glossy surface of the wood was pretty hot to the touch. As my previous gym’s sauna was not varnished, I was surprised. My real concern is the “fumey” smell: does anyone know if this is safe? I asked the guy at the gym, and (not surprisingly) he assured me that it’s safe and that I’m the first person to express concerns. I’ve looked on-line, but am having difficulty finding objective information.

3 Replies Add Reply

Many paints, wood finishes, etc. have volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can give off fumes:
Bottom line:  If the sauna smells “fumey” to you, I wouldn’t use it.

That was supposed to be a plus one, but the plus gets deleted. For more info I recommend the books What’s Gotten Into Us?, Living Downstream, or the Story of Stuff. Basically, anytime you smell that fumey chemical smell, you are breathing something toxic. 

Thanks! I would have thought that a gym/health club would be more careful about this kind of stuff. I’d also assume that there are rules or regs of some sort that would apply, and that there’d have to be some kind of health/safety inspection, but maybe I’m naive.  

Viewing 3 replies - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)


Reply to this topic

You must be logged in to reply to this discussion. or