Indoors or out, you can’t run from air pollution — particles and fumes are in the gym

Image of lockers in a gymA recent post to Well, a NYT blog on health topics, included an overview of recent research on air quality in eleven gyms in Lisbon, Portugal.

The research is scheduled to be published in the journal Building and Environment in December 2014.

Why air quality in gyms is important

Like gyms in the U.S., most of the Lisbon gyms contained weight rooms as well as spaces for classes and exercise machines.

When people are exercising hard — breathing through their mouths — they are more likely to inhale particles into their lungs that would, in other circumstances, be trapped by the nasal passages.

In addition to particulates, such as common dust and dirt brought in on street shoes, gym users may be breathing in chemicals that are used in cleaning supplies and linger in the air.

And then there’s formaldehyde, which is off-gassed by furniture, carpeting and some building products.

This concern is not merely an exercise in aesthetics. From Cleveland Clinic’s Heart and Vascular Team earlier this year:

The Air You Breathe Can Hurt Your Heart

Study links air pollution
to blood clots in lungs, afib


Let’s look at particles and chemicals separately

Removal of particles and chemicals from the air requires different types of filtration.

Particles are best trapped by moving the contaminated air through HEPA filters, where they adhere to fibers that make up the filters.

However, particle filters are not particularly effective at capturing chemical molecules.

That’s were activated carbon filtration comes in. Minute crevices and openings in activated carbon granules trap many types of chemical molecules.

Activated carbon can be specially treated to adsorp an additional set of chemical molecules. Aldehydes, including formaldehyde, are in that set. (See our formaldehyde filter test.)

In a gym environment, you need both types of filters to remove contaminants from the air.

Source vs ambient

Many of our industrial customers use our source-capture air purification devices.

However, source-capture air purifiers for gyms that are already overflowing with equipment and people is not a practical solution.

Gym managers: ambient air purifiers can solve dirty air problem

Sentry Air's Model 700 Ambient Air Cleaner.

In this view of the Model 700 Ambient Air Cleaner, air flows from left to right. Filters inside the unit capture contaminants.

Sentry Air's Model 700 mounted on an elevated stand.Installation options

An ambient air cleaner, like our Model 700 shown above, can be installed using a variety of techniques:

Check out the stand’s dimensions.

None of the installation options take up valuable floor space. And there are no special electrical requirements; a standard 115 outlet is appropriate.

Inside the Model 700

Sentry Air's Model 700 ambient air cleaner, doors removed, filters visible.

The Model 700’s powerful fan moves contaminated air, left to right, through both HEPA and activated carbon filters.

In addition to replaceable HEPA and activated carbon filters, your Model 700 can also be configured with MERV 7, DOP95 and specially blended carbon filters.

Remove particles and chemical fumes from your gym

A hand drawn heartMake your health-conscious patrons happy.

Call us at (800) 799- 4609. You can also email us at or use the contact form below.



The Bad Air in Our Gyms

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Chemisorption and Customized Carbon Filters

Sentry Air Systems Demonstrates How Activated Carbon Works

Model 700 ambient air cleaner proves effective in acetone vapor removal

The air you breathe can hurt your heart