Tennessee Titans rookie wide receiver Treylon Burks dealt with asthma during the team’s offseason workouts. The 18th overall pick didn’t have conditioning issues; rather, Burks was dealing with asthma in a city problematic for asthma sufferers.
According to a report from BreezoMeter, the company that is behind the air quality for Apple’s Weather App, Nashville is among the 10 U.S. cities that have the most days of difficult conditions for asthma sufferers.
Incidentally, two other AFC South cities are on the list: Houston and Indianapolis.
The study from 2021 takes into account myriad factors that define “difficult conditions for asthma sufferers” — such as high fine particulate matter (PM2.5) concentration (μg/m3) and relative humidity (RH) levels (%).
According to the New York Department of Health, PM2.5 particles are typically from gases and droplets. The particles are small enough that they can enter the respiratory tract.
Ran Korber, the founder of BreezoMeter and an environmental engineer by trade, says that PM2.5 particles are not only small enough to enter one’s respiratory tract, but also seep into one’s bloodstream.
“If they enter into our bloodstream, they can go anywhere in the body, including the brain, the heart, everywhere,” Korber said.
Relative humidity also played a part in the challenge asthma sufferers face. According to BreezoMeter, in addition to being the fourth-largest city in the country and also very humid, Houston has air quality that is sometimes affected by dust storms arriving in the southern part of the United States from the Sahara Desert in North Africa.
PM10 particles, Korber says, typically come from automobile exhaust, boilers, chemical plants and dust storms.
The Houston Texans may be situated in an asthma hotspot, but the team has resources to help their athletes, such as the indoor practice bubble at Houston Methodist Training Center.