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Code red? Code PURPLE? What the f*?(23 posts)

Code red? Code PURPLE? What the f*?bill
Jun 26, 2003 5:59 AM
Yesterday around D.C., the air was Code Red, just this side of Code Purple. I was never very sure of what this means, but today somebody passed around some information on a local racer listserve. It's pretty harrowing stuff. And if you think that, because you're young and healthy you shouldn't let it worry you, that's not what this guy is saying. If you are active, drawing more of the stuff into your lungs, you're going to suffer more damage, pretty much guaranteed (in other words, the advice is the same for the eighty y/o that wants to go sit outside and the thirty y/o that wants to go ride his bike for an hour, or a half hour hard -- don't do it).
What he says is that the ozone destroys surface cells on your lungs. Which apparently do not rejuvenate the way epithelial cells do. So, you end up with scarred lungs, decreased performance for days or weeks, and possibly chronic inflammation.
I was going to go out at noon, today. Maybe I'll pass.
here's some info . . .bill
Jun 26, 2003 6:02 AM
The effect on the lung tissue is less chemically toxic than it is a chemical
burn, doing physical damage to the epithilial tissue that makes up your
lungs. Any broaching of the integrity of the epithilial tissue is a problem
for the immune system. The real impact on the immune system is actually the
nitric oxide exposure, and this is present all the time. Only the
combination of heat and sunlight on VOC in the presence of nitric oxide(
from vehicle exhaust) lead to the formation of ground level ozone as a
secondary pollutant.

Randy Collins
The Peals Coaching Group, Inc.
here's more . . .bill
Jun 26, 2003 6:04 AM
It is possible just
using the understanding that ground level ozone is a secondary pollutant
caused by the action of sunlight and heat on the primary pollutants VOC 's(
hydrocarbons from fossil fuel burning and natural emissions of turpenes and
related hydrocarbons by forests) in the presence of nitric oxide ( from
vehicle exhaust) to avoid damaging exposures. Early in the morning is cool
and the previous day's ground ozone has dissipated. Usually the levels arer
OK until 11:00 AM on even the developing worst days. There are exceptions.
Morning ozone levels tend to be very high, often the highest of the day,
overnight and into the morning hours in the Shenandoah National Park and The
Great Smoky Mountains National Park .There are multiple factors that lead to
this exception.

Use of the or sites to plan your
exercise time is perhaps the best way to avoid damaging exposures. An indoor
trainer is a viable option to be considered on some days.

Randy Collins
The Peaks Coaching Group, Inc.
here's a little more . . .bill
Jun 26, 2003 6:05 AM
The alveoli of the lungs are like brain cells: once damaged or destroyed,
they are not replaced in this lifetime. You may only use 10% of your
available brain cells, but you use 100% of your available alveoli.


Randy Collins
The Peaks Coaching Group, Inc.
"We care about your success!"
434 258 2899
and still a little more . . .bill
Jun 26, 2003 6:07 AM

The impact of ozone pollution on lung tissue is greater than many athletes
are aware of. The above link
is actual real time data as of 5:00 PM today. will get
you to each states monitoring
info and forecasts. The Virginia DEQ site is one of the better ones for
actual data.

The one hour avg is the level athletes should be concerned with. This is the
actual level of ozone you are exposed to during a ride. At levels above 100
ppb ozone signifigantly damages the bronchioles by lipid peroxidation, and
damages red blood cells by the formation of hydrogen peroxide in the blood.
Currently the level of ozone ranges from 119-137 ppb in the DC metro area.

During training and competition, respiration rate increases at least
threefold. Total ventilatory increase is even greater due to deeper
breathing. The ozone is taken more deeply into the lungs than is typical
for the non-athlete. Clinical studies have demonstrated that even a
recreational athlete exercising in polluted areas experiences a threefold
greater exposure to pollutants than a sedentary person per time unit of

The athletic performance damage done by excessive ozone exposure lasts for
several days to two weeks. The epithilial tissue of the lungs is damaged
somewhat akin to a sunburn and goes through a process of inflamation and
sloughing off of dead cells. The damage to the immune system done by nitric
oxide exposure also lasts for days. Chronic exposure is linked to the
development of asthma and chronic bronchitis in otherwise healthy
non-smoking adults.

The recommendation is that athletes avoid exposing themselves to prolonged
training or competition at ozone levels above 79 ppb one hour avg. Levels
above 120 ppb mean no outdoor athletic exertion period. The question is not
if your lungs will be damaged, even if only temporarily; rather, how much
will they be damaged and is the damage becoming chronic.

Randy Collins
Cycling Peaks
some (modest) hope . . .bill
Jun 26, 2003 6:37 AM
There are some benefits to a supplement program in this regard. I don't give
blanket recommendations
for supplementation because every individual and situatuation is different.
That said, the clinical research
in this area seems to indicate that the typical supplemantal range of
vitamin E has some protective action. Also, the use of Co-Q10 enzyme,
vitamin C, and EFA ( flax oil) should included. That said, no supplement
program is going to protect you from the ozone levels seen this week. Akin
to a fire retardant driver's suit, the supplements slow the the onset of the
damage at a lower intensity, but at a more intense exposure you're going to
get burned.

Randy Collins
The Peaks Coaching Group, Inc.
question? asthma? limited time to ride?andy02
Jun 26, 2003 6:23 AM
This s??Ks! I live where I only get a limited time during the year to ride and now I shouldn't because I could do real damage to my lungs?? I already have a small amount of airway remodeling due to childhood asthma I don't need anymore trouble. does taking advair or simaler meds make it worse or prevent the inflamtion responce and therefore help?? I look on pubmed.
sue someoneishmael
Jun 26, 2003 6:35 AM
the car companies? the state? the country?

someone is responsible for your inability to persue happiness.
ozone doesn't have an effect of asthma?andy02
Jun 26, 2003 6:33 AM
may increase risk of getting asthma-reason cyclist get it?
vit C may help
lowers your vo2 max
Jun 26, 2003 6:38 AM
long term effects unknown but doesn't look good

Fact: we have no idea what the long term effects of ozone are we do know lack of exercise kills and makes life boring!
I cant find the infoishmael
Jun 26, 2003 8:09 AM
once I get to the website what do I do then?
cut and paste!andy02
Jun 26, 2003 10:49 AM
cut and paste the whole web add. in to the browser
re: Not gettin what I paid forwilki5
Jun 26, 2003 6:39 AM
That's some great reading, informative and scary. Glad to see that the Canadian and American govt. are taking clean air seriously. It's about time industry and consumers got their act together. I'm sick and tired of paying for the person who drives their SUV/car everywhere (alone) or the industry that is allowed to voluntarily control emissions.
re: Not gettin what I paid forKEN2
Jun 26, 2003 8:13 AM
Right, the government is taking it seriously... just tell people to stay indoors, that's the solution all right!
I was being sarcaticwilki5
Jun 26, 2003 9:47 AM
Governments in NA are not taking it seriously at all. Bush's proposed voluntary emissions control program is a joke and there needs to be significantly more pressure on auto makers to improve fuel efficieny in in cars and especially SUV's
Whoah.... And Some Additional Data PointsGregory Taylor
Jun 26, 2003 6:51 AM
Interesting stuff. I rode in to DC this morning, and at 7:30 am the haze was already very thick. My riding buddy and I took it very easy after noticing that we were panting like beached whales on hills that normally wouldn't bother us. The effect was noticable.
re: Code red? Code PURPLE? What the f*?coifmo
Jun 26, 2003 7:03 AM
Pollution is to blame, folks. Cars and power plants -- running full tilt to keep our AC on -- are to blame. Both of these can be cleaned up.

Check out the TV spots here, which are running in DC and several cities:

(Click on the kid sucking an asthma inhaler)
re: Code red? Code PURPLE? What the f*?boyd2
Jun 26, 2003 7:43 AM
WHat happens if it is a "Code Red" Ozone day and a "Code Orange" terrorist day. Should I stay in bed?
re: Code red? Code PURPLE? What the f*?coifmo
Jun 30, 2003 2:34 PM
Stay UNDER the bed.
Anyone use those carbon filter masks?wilki5
Jun 26, 2003 7:44 AM
Any one use those masks with the little carbon filters in them? I know they get a bit hot in the summer but do they actually work at remove ozone, NOx and other pollutants?
Activated charcoal will kill ozone quickly ...Humma Hah
Jun 26, 2003 8:31 AM
... but I don't know which mask you're talking about. A cartridge-style mask that seals properly would work, but I don't know if it could keep up with heavy breathing at your AT.

We used an activated charcoal canister to scrub ozone from air for an ozone analyzer I used to be involved with building. That was used to set the zero baseline on the instrument. The destruction of ozone was virtually instantaneous and total. I believe we also used charcoal to scrub hydrocarbons, sulfur compounds, and oxides of nitrogen, but it was not as total and fast as it was for ozone.

Activated charcoal is even fairly effective against nerve gas.
Question about O3Alex-in-Evanston
Jun 26, 2003 8:50 AM
What is it about hot days that raises the ground-level ozone concentration? Is the third oxygen coming from SOX or NOX or some other source? Is the heat responsible for the reaction? If so, what temps are required?


Try this siteSamDC
Jun 26, 2003 8:59 AM