BioOx, a cutting-edge air cleaning system from Air & Water Solutions, was in operation for the Winter Junior Nationals at the University of Tennessee last week, where swimmers, coaches and parents praised the comfortable conditions and improved air quality. The system led to a reduction in coughing and sneezing, allowing competitors to lessen their use of inhalers and granting parents of asthmatic swimmers a peace of mind not commonly found at indoor swim meets. In the words of a swimmer from North Penn Aquatic Club, “the air quality at this meet has been awesome.”
The BioOx system is composed of several free-standing units placed around the edge of the pool deck. BioOx media, a patented solution comprised of organic enzymes, is added to each unit along with several gallons of water. The enzymes and water combine to form a solution that neutralizes harmful toxins in the surrounding air. Clean air is then expelled through an in-unit fan. This process creates a Clean Air Zone, which continues to expand the longer the units are in use and leaves behind crisp, breathable air.
At meets of this size, which feature hundreds of swimmers in the pool at the same time, natatoriums can quickly become the scene of coughing fits and unbreathable air. At the Junior Nationals, swimmers and coaches alike spoke of the pleasant conditions, which many declared better than the majority of facilities they’ve visited for competition. A coach from Y-SpartAquatics in South Carolina noted that “we are on the 2nd or 3rd day of USA Junior Nationals and I can breathe. No sneezing, no eye problems. The barrels are amazing.” A North Penn Aquatic Club swimmer, who spoke of air quality at his home club so bad that a friend once got sent to the hospital, commented that despite having asthma, “it’s really good here and I haven’t had any problems.” A parent of a swimmer with asthma called the conditions at the Junior Nationals “far and above the best we’ve ever experienced.”
For swimmers who train outdoors, the conditions at indoor meets can be particularly difficult. A mother commented that the air quality at the indoor meets her daughter attends in Florida typically poses a problem, but said it’s “been wonderful” at the Junior Nationals and “she hasn’t had any breathing issues.” Another mother explained that her daughter has ended up with bronchitis by the end of the last few indoor meets she’s attended due to poor air quality, noting that “the air quality has been great” at Tennessee.
Some attendees acknowledged that, while conditions were noticeably better, there is still room for improvement. A swimmer from Nashville Aquatic Club commented that “with this many swimmers it’s hard to make it perfect, but it’s definitely better.”
“We knew coming to a meet of this size was going to be a big challenge,” said Ken Schapiro, director of sales at Air & Water Solutions. “Our system has greatly improved the 24/7 air quality, here at UT and at facilities on the East Coast, but this is the first 1,000-plus swimmer meet we’ve worked. We’re encouraged by the positive feedback we’ve received, and we look forward to fine-tuning both the quantity and layout of the units to successfully impact conditions not just on the deck but also in the stands for the next large meet we have the opportunity to be a part of.”
About Air & Water Solutions: At Air & Water Solutions, we’re changing the way people think about the air they breathe. We’re leaving a positive impact on the health of the Earth, and making it a safer, more enjoyable place for the people who live here.
Swimming Industry news courtesy BioOx, a SwimSwam partner.