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.
Keywords: Principal air pollutants, athletes, asthmatics, respiratory effect, cardiovascular effect, Acute exposure, chronic exposure.