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IAAF sets first with stadium air quality monitor

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has installed its first stadium air quality monitor at Monaco’s Stade Louis II venue.

The IAAF said the installation marks a substantial milestone in its campaign to raise awareness of the effects of air pollution and forms part of a pilot programme to highlight the need for clean air.

Stade Louis II primarily serves as the home of French Ligue 1 football club AS Monaco, but is also a major athletics venue, hosting a leg of the IAAF’s Diamond League circuit.

HSH Prince Albert II, president of the Monaco Athletics Federation and chair of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Environment Commission, said: “As chairman of the Monaco Athletics Federation I am proud that the Stade Louis II has been part of the IAAF Air Quality Device project which targets to improve the quality of environment and conditions of performances for the athletes, through data that has never been provided before.

“After a first test during our IDL meeting Herculis EBS on July 20, which has been ranked as the best meeting of the history, we are delighted to continue to work in this project. Stade Louis II will be the first stadium in the world with such tools, thus allowing the Principality to be a pioneer in terms of environmental consideration in sport.”

IAAF president Sebastian Coe added: “Air pollution is a silent killer which is affecting the health of athletes, local communities and our environment, so I’m delighted that the cooperation between the IAAF and our partners has brought this project to fruition and I hope that together we can raise awareness and help to improve air quality around the globe.”

In addition to the monitor being fitted at Stade Louis II, six more devices are to be installed at athletics tracks around the world in the coming months, with venues in Argentina, Ethiopia, Mexico, Sydney and Japan having been selected. A second device will also be installed at Stade Louis II to measure the difference between the air at each end of the stadium. The six devices will be supplied by Spanish company Kunak Technologies SL.

The development comes after the IAAF and UN Environment announced in May that they were teaming up to address the issues of poor air quality. The five-year partnership aims to have 1,000 monitors stationed in IAAF-certified athletics tracks around the world providing real-time air quality data.

Image: V&A Dudush