[United Kingdom] Air Pollution has Major Impact on Children in Sport, Study Warns

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12 Feb 2020
The Guardian

Air pollution may interfere with Britain’s future sporting performance as some training grounds are in areas with dangerously high pollution levels which breach World Health Organization (WHO) recommended limits, a report has revealed.

The Breathe GB study analyzed pollution levels at 94 sporting sites in England and found that 25 broke WHO recommended limits, with one of the highest recorded levels at Birmingham’s Perry Park — host of the 2022 Commonwealth Games — while 52 came close to the threshold.

To produce the report, the campaign group, The Air Team, spoke with senior respiratory consultants as well as leaders in physical education, to assess the effects of air pollution on children’s lung function and sporting ability.

The study suggests children exercising in areas of high pollution will experience stunted lung function that will limit their future sporting performance.

The Air Team is calling on sports organisations, MPs, schools and athletes to back their Breathe GB campaign. Its spokeswoman, Anella Wickenden, said, 'If you care about British sport, you need to care about air pollution'.


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