Effects of NO2 alone and in combination with O3 on young men and women

W. C. Adams, K. A. Brookes, Edward S Schelegle

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36 Scopus citations


Previous studies of 2 h of exposure to NO2 at high urban atmospheric levels (i.e., 0.50-1.0 ppm), utilizing light-to-moderate exercise for up to 1 h have failed to demonstrate significant pulmonary dysfunction in healthy humans. To test the hypothesis that heavy sustained exercise would elicit pulmonary dysfunction on exposure to 0.60 ppm NO2 and/or enhance the effects of exposure to 0.30 ppm O3, 40 aerobically trained young adults (20 males and 20 females) completed 1 h of continuous exercise at work rates eliciting a mean minute ventilation of 70 and 50 l/min for the males and females, respectively. Exposures to filtered air, 0.60 ppm NO2, 0.30 ppm O3, and 0.60 ppm NO2 plus 0.30 ppm O3 were randomly delivered via an obligatory mouthpiece inhalation system. Treatment effects were assessed by standard pulmonary function tests and exercise ventilatory and subjective symptoms response. Two-way analysis of variance with repeated measures and post hoc analyses revealed a statistically significant (P < 0.05) effect of O3 on forced expiratory parameters, specific airway resistance, exercise ventilatory response, and reported subjective symptoms of respiratory discomfort. In contrast, no significant effect of NO2 was observed nor was there any significant interaction of NO2 and O3 in combination. There were no significant differences between male and female responses to gas mixture treatments. It was concluded that inhalation of 0.60 ppm NO2 for 1 h while engaged in heavy sustained exercise does not elicit effects evidenced by measurement techniques used in this study nor evoke additive effects beyond those induced by 0.30 ppm O3 in healthy young adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1698-1704
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Physiology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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