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