Scientific Research and Essays

  • Abbreviation: Sci. Res. Essays
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1992-2248
  • DOI: 10.5897/SRE
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 2768

Full Length Research Paper

Principal air pollutants and their effects on athletes’ health and performance: A critical review

Gashaw Tesema Tsegaw
  • Gashaw Tesema Tsegaw
  • Department of Sport Science, College of Natural and Computational Science, Mizan-Tepi University, Tepi, Ethiopia.
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Yitayal Addis Alemayehu
  • Yitayal Addis Alemayehu
  • Department of Environmental Science, Cotebe Metropolitan University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 23 January 2019
  •  Accepted: 13 February 2019
  •  Published: 15 May 2019


The aim of this review was to assess the health effects of the criteria air pollutants: Sulfur dioxide (SO2), carbon oxides (COX), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), particulate matter (PM) and ozone (O3) together with photochemical smog and global warming in relation to exercise with particular focus on athletes. In this review, respiratory and cardiovascular health impacts of the specified principal air pollutants have been seen. It will also give information about ambient air quality standard to estimate air quality and take appropriate measure for training athletes according to the US Environmental protection agency. The effect of photochemical smog has been discussed as a result of the synergistic effect of ozone (O3), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), volatile organic compounds (VOCS) and peroxyacetyl nitrate (PAN).  A wide spectrum illness that arises from global warming that needs precautions have been seen in this review. In general this review will provide information for athletes, coaches, managers, sports medicine team, health community as well as other concerned bodies.

Key words: Principal air pollutants, athletes, asthmatics, respiratory effect, cardiovascular effect, acute exposure, chronic exposure.