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July 17, 1981

Summer Olympics to be under ozone cloud

JAMA. 1981;246(3):202. doi:10.1001/jama.1981.03320030004002

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Athletes participating in the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles can expect to be bathed in much more than national honor and adulation.

According to experts from California's Air Resources Board, the athletes can also expect about 2,000 tons per day of total organic gases, 1,300 tons per day of nitrogen oxides, 400 tons per day of sulfur oxides, and 1,500 tons per day of particulates to rain about their heads.

These materials, when held in by high mountain rims and warmed by sunny days, are ideal for making ozone smog—the highest concentrations in the world —just in time for the Olympic season.

In sketching this gritty scenario, Spencer Duckworth, assistant chief, technical services division, Air Resources Board, told the meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine in Bal Harbour, Fla, that during July and August, stage 1 ozone episodes (20 parts per hundred million [pphm]) occur four out