Environmental concerns have been making headlines since the announcement Rio secured the 2016 summer Olympics. One major area of concern is water pollution. Jo Anna Shimek, clinical faculty in Environmental Health at IU’s School of Public Health-Bloomington, said participants in this year’s games have a right to be concerned about water quality.

“While the swimming competitions will take place in indoor pools, sports such as rowing and sailing will take place in the open water outside Rio. Potential exposures to bacteria and chemicals in these waters are of particular concern to the athletes,” Shimek said. “Contact with the water may result in exposure to bacteria and irritating chemicals and should be avoided.”

Shimek has a Ph.D. in public health with a concentration in environmental and occupational health and is board certified in safety and industrial hygiene. She studies the effects of radon as well as assessment methods for exposure to chemicals and other agents in the environment, such as lead.

To speak with Shimek, email her at [email protected].