Ex­perts call for de­lay­ing Delhi Half Marathon due to poor air qual­ity

Millennium Post - - Mp City - OUR COR­RE­SPON­DENT

NEW DELHI: Doc­tors have called for de­lay­ing Delhi’s half marathon set for Oc­to­ber 21, as air pol­lu­tion has wors­ened sooner in the year than usual, pos­ing a risk to run­ners.

The air qual­ity in­dex, which mea­sures the con­cen­tra­tion of poi­sonous par­tic­u­late mat­ter, has hit 331 in parts of Delhi on a scale where any­thing above 100 is con­sid­ered un­healthy by the Cen­tral Pol­lu­tion Con­trol Board.

Of­fi­cials said that the burn­ing crop stub­ble in Pun­jab and Haryana led to a rise in lev­els of air pol­lu­tion, even though the prac­tice was banned and au­thor­i­ties have threat­ened to pun­ish any­one do­ing so.

The Heart Care Foun­da­tion said run­ners were at risk of lung in­fec­tions and other com­pli­ca­tions from the de­te­ri­o­rat­ing air.

“This is also the time when pol­lu­tion lev­els are likely to be ex­tremely high, with poor air qual­ity,” it said in a state­ment, warn­ing that this could ag­gra­vate asthma or an­other lung dis­ease, such as chronic ob­struc­tive pul­monary dis­ease. Some par­tic­i­pants wore masks in last year’s race.

A high level of PM 2.5, or tiny par­tic­u­late mat­ter less than 2.5 mi­crome­tre that can reach deep into the lungs, can in­crease blood pres­sure and even cause a stroke, the foun­da­tion fur­ther added.

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