Human exposure to air contaminants in sports environments

Heidi Salonen*, Tunga Salthammer, Lidia Morawska

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview Articlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)
251 Downloads (Pure)


The aim of this review was to investigate human exposure to relevant indoor air contaminants, predictors affecting the levels, and the means to reduce the harmful exposure in indoor sports facilities. Our study revealed that the contaminants of primary concern are the following: particulate matter in indoor climbing, golf, and horse riding facilities; carbon dioxide and particulate matter in fitness centers, gymnasiums, and sports halls; Staphylococci on gymnasium surfaces; nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide in ice hockey arenas; carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide(s), and particulate matter in motor sports arenas; and disinfection by-products in indoor chlorinated swimming pools. Means to reduce human exposure to indoor contaminants include the following: adequate mechanical ventilation with filters, suitable cleaning practices, a limited number of occupants in fitness centers and gymnasiums, the use of electric resurfacers instead of the engine powered resurfacers in ice hockey arenas, carefully regulated chlorine and temperature levels in indoor swimming pools, properly ventilated pools, and good personal hygiene. Because of the large number of susceptible people in these facilities, as well as all active people having an increased respiratory rate and airflow velocity, strict air quality requirements in indoor sports facilities should be maintained.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1109-1129
Number of pages21
JournalIndoor Air
Issue number6
Early online date13 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020
MoE publication typeA2 Review article, Literature review, Systematic review


  • air pollution
  • exercise
  • exposure
  • indoor air
  • indoor sports environment
  • indoor sports facilities


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