Thursday, January 24, 2008

08 Olympics in Beijing and Pollution Problems

I found this really interesting article on the 2008 Beijing Olympics and pollution problems.

Many athletes competing in the 08 games are very concerned about the pollution levels in Beijing and how it will affect their performance. " Pollution levels on a typical day in Beijing, some researchers say, are nearly five times above World Health Organization standards for safety."

Randy Wilber, the lead exercise physiologist for the U.S. Olympic Committee has help to design a special mask, "which cost about $20 to $25 each and will be part of the Olympic gear given to athletes. The masks filter 85 percent to 100 percent of the main pollutants compared with paper masks, which filter 25 percent to 45 percent." Mr. Wilber has also done studies on inhalers for athletes.

The smog is apparently so bad that the US boxing team, while competing in China last month, ran in the hotel hallways instead of on the streets because the air was “disgusting”said the team manager.

"Chinese officials say the air in Beijing, one of the most polluted cities in the world, will not be an issue when China’s first Olympic Games start Aug. 8. They plan to limit vehicle use, close factories and do everything in their power to bring blue skies to Beijing. Jacquoes Roqqe, the I.O.C. president, said he was confident the air would be clean because Chinese officials "'are not going to let down the world.'"

The thing I found most disturbing about this article is that we have to address this issue. Hopefully this helps to highlight the big problems pollution is causing and motivates the world to start making some actual changes.

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