Swedish athletes step inside for a breath of clean air in Rio

The environmental conditions at Olympic venues held in major world cities have been receiving more and more attention over the years, especially worries about the negative impact of air pollution on sports performance and the health of competing athletes in venues like Athens, Beijing and London.

These air quality concerns have surfaced again at this year’s Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. According to a report just released by Reuters (see link below), the Brazilian’s city’s air pollution is the worst of any Olympic city since the 1980s, with the exception of Beijing in 2008.

Reuters states that “Rio de Janeiro's air is dirtier and deadlier than portrayed by authorities and the Olympics’ promised legacy of cleaner winds has not remotely been met”. The report is based on an analysis of government data and Reuters’ own testing of air quality at Olympic sites in Rio.

The report states that Rio’s air has consistently been two to three times above the WHO’s annual limit for PM10 since 2008. Rio’s PM2.5* levels have also exceeded the WHO's annual limits 83 percent of the time since 2011. Exhaust fumes from several million vehicles are the main source of Rio’s air quality problems.

Camfil on location in Rio

To provide better conditions for recovery from Rio’s air pollution, the ventilation air in areas used by the Swedish Olympic teams is currently being filtered and cleaned in high-efficiency air purifiers from Camfil to provide high indoor air quality (IAQ).

The installation of the air purifiers is part of a major ongoing collaboration project (see link below) to evaluate how an athlete’s recovery process benefits from clean air.

Two models

Camfil’s City S air purifiers are being used in the living accommodations of all Swedish Olympic teams, while a larger model, the City M, is being used in conference rooms and other common facilities shared by the Swedish Olympians.

Prior to the Games, the City S was also used to purify the air in the homes of several Swedish Olympians training and preparing for Rio. Camfil has also prepared “A Brief Guide to Indoor Air for Elite Athletes” to help the sports community gain a better understanding of how poor quality air affects the human body.

* WHO, the EU and many national environmental protection agencies are monitoring PM2.5 and PM10 today, but to provide a truly healthy and productive indoor air environment in areas with bad air pollution, ventilation systems need filters that also remove a significant amount of PM1– the smallest and most harmful fraction.

Click here to view a summary of Reuters report on Rios air

Click here to read more about Camfil’s Rio Recovery Project for Swedish Olympians

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