Athletes United for Healthy Air

Are you a cross-country runner?  A football player?  A dog walker?

If you play tennis, you’re an athlete.  If you skateboard, you’re an athlete.  If you walk around the block a few times in the evening, you’re an athlete.  And athletes need clean air to exercise in.

Exercising is necessary for good health.  Exercising causes the heart to beat more rapidly and the lungs to breathe more often and more deeply, strengthening these vital organs.  However, because your body is taking in more air, the harmful effects of exercising in polluted air can almost outweigh the benefits you receive from the exercise.  Southwestern PA suffers from high levels of PM2.5, sooty particles that carry toxins into your bloodstream and are linked to higher rates of cardiovascular disease, and ozone, which damages the respiratory system and can aggravate asthma.

GASP believes that all athletes have the right to exercise in clean air. Athletes United for Healthy Air is a chance for all athletes to join together to demand cleaner, healthier air.

Athletes United for Healthy Air will also be sponsoring a series of educational events and outdoor activities that will provide chances to learn from experts and exercise with like-minded individuals. For example, our Clean Air Dash! Our 3rd Clean Air Dash 5k was October 31, 2015 (photos here). The 2nd Dash was on October 5, 2014 (photos here).

Please follow the links below to learn more and become part of this important campaign.  If you’re not an athlete yourself but have a friend or family member who is and you support our campaign, please fill out the contact form below or email us and let us know you’d like to be a part of this campaign.

Individual Athletes


Athletes United Events – Get details on upcoming hikes, presentations, bike rides–all kinds of events that Athletes United is sponsoring or just plain thinks are cool.

Digital Toolkit – Activities, games, and more, in a digital format, for teachers and coaches.

Related Reports/Articles – Find here the latest research on the relationships between exercise and air pollution, and other related issues.

EPA School Flag Program – Learn more about our program to educate students and teachers about the daily air quality forecast.