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EPA researchers are working to improve knowledge about the relationship between exercise and air pollution, which, until recently, has not been an active area of research. In 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) held a workshop to review the state of the science and existing public health guidance on physical activity and outdoor air pollution exposure. The international experts attending the workshop recommended additional research to assist with future public health guidance.
Since then, the study of potential health effects of air pollution during exercise has gained in popularity, especially in the last five years, says Stephanie DeFlorio-Barker, an epidemiologist in EPA’s Office of Research and Development. DeFlorio-Barker and colleagues have conducted a systematic scientific review of the literature published between 2000-2020 on the short-term health effects from exposure to air pollution during outdoor exercise.