Although gym sources still exist, today the internet serves as the primary source for obtaining AAS. The web makes these products readily available to anyone capable of logging on & arranging payment, and improves upon the gym resource by adding anonymity to the equation. The ‘Black Market’ (BM) is the illegal underground production and sells of goods and services. Since the 2004 Anabolic Steroid Control Act placed AAS on the controlled substances list, the BM has been flooded with muscle building hormones. However, there are a significant number of hazards associated with the purchase and usage of underground drugs. The question of product integrity is always central in the minds of BM customers, “Can I purchase safe products from this source?” The virtual anonymity of internet sites owners, traditionally high provider turnover rates (here today, gone tomorrow), and significant number of recent federal steroid busts has made answering this question even harder of late. Additionally, the BM is filled with a variety of different types of “scammers”, individuals who simply set up shop to dupe customers. There are those who launch sites only to take money with no plan or intention of delivering anything at all. Many law enforcement officials actually see these as the good guys, those who promote the once bitten syndrome scaring would-be buyers/users away from future attempts at acquiring steroids online. At least they have the decency (used lightly) to take the money and run, unlike other types of sources who aren’t as kind. There are the supplement guys, they too pretend to market and sale valid steroids when in actuality the buyer receives little more than colorfully labeled powered vitamins and minerals with AAS names. Although they falsify claims, they don’t hurt unsuspecting buyers like some scammers do. The web is filled with repackaging scams in which very cheap steroids are placed in expensive product labeling and sold at a premium under high quality lab names. These less expensive forms of AAS produce harsher side effects, which can be not only harmful to everyone, but particularly dangerous to women who think they are minimally risking the use of very mild compounds. Still others produce completely imposter or fake steroids , which are often vials of vegetable oil labeled to look like AAS. Along the same lines are those manufactured under grossly unsanitary conditions that would make the FDA shriek with terror, and have a tendency to result in painful and/or sickening effects. All of the above hazards can lead to health problems ranging from minor infections and abscesses, to majorly severe reactions, illnesses and possibly death.
Some of the approved drugs are synthetic versions of the natural hormones, such as trenbolone acetate and zeranol. Just like the natural hormone implants, before FDA approved these drugs, FDA required information and/or toxicological testing in laboratory animals to determine safe levels in the animal products that we eat (edible tissues). Furthermore, FDA required that the manufacturers demonstrate that the amount of hormone left in each edible tissue after treatment is below the appropriate safe level. As described above, a safe level is a level which would be expected to have no harmful effect in humans.
Steroid isolation , depending on context, is the isolation of chemical matter required for chemical structure elucidation, derivitzation or degradation chemistry, biological testing, and other research needs (generally milligrams to grams, but often more  or the isolation of "analytical quantities" of the substance of interest (where the focus is on identifying and quantifying the substance (for example, in biological tissue or fluid). The amount isolated depends on the analytical method, but is generally less than one microgram.  [ page needed ] The methods of isolation to achieve the two scales of product are distinct, but include extraction , precipitation, adsorption , chromatography , and crystallization . In both cases, the isolated substance is purified to chemical homogeneity; combined separation and analytical methods, such as LC-MS , are chosen to be "orthogonal"—achieving their separations based on distinct modes of interaction between substance and isolating matrix—to detect a single species in the pure sample. Structure determination refers to the methods to determine the chemical structure of an isolated pure steroid, using an evolving array of chemical and physical methods which have included NMR and small-molecule crystallography .  :10–19 Methods of analysis overlap both of the above areas, emphasizing analytical methods to determining if a steroid is present in a mixture and determining its quantity.