There has been extensive debate about the impact of air pollution before Olympic games 2008 in Beijing and its influence on health and/or performance of athletes. BOCOG and Chinese authorities give this issue a lot of effort. Also, the IOC and NOCs monitor the situation, communicate with the BOCOG and implement preventive measures. Czech NOC in addition to prevention, decided to own direct measurement of air pollution. Based on the measurement results can then decide about the scheme and selection of athletes training funds, or preventive precautions.
Ambient temperature, relative humidity and particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter below 10 ìm (PM10) were measured during and shortly before the Games between August 3 and 24, 2008 in Beijing Olympic Village in Block B3 where devices were placed on the balcony in rooms of the Czech Olympic team. Continuous temperature and relative humidity values were monitored datalogging thermo-hygrometer, and PM10 were made fast to respond DustTrak nephelometer. For comparison, similar measurements were carried out at the same time, also in Prague.
Temperature and PM10 concentrations were significantly higher in the week preceding Olympic Games. During the Games, however, these parameters decreased significantly. Relative humidity was a lower one during pre-Games than during Games.
Announced drastic measures to reduce emissions from industry, transport and construction are likely to bring their positive influence. Significant effects were also favourable climatic conditions, which decreased ambient temperature and frequent rains are likely to have contributed to an unprecedented improvement of pollution conditions.
According to our results we can conclude that athletes in Beijing were significantly fewer health risk due to air quality than expected pessimistic assumptions.