Air Pollution: Doctors Call For The Postponement Of Delhi Marathon As Pollution Surges

Air Pollution: Doctors Call For The Postponement Of Delhi Marathon As Pollution Surges

The air quality index, which measures the concentration of poisonous particulate matter, shows high level of pollution in Delhi sooner in the year than usual hitting 331 in parts of Delhi which way above the unhealthy mark of 100, says doctors
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Air Pollution: Doctors Call For The Postponement Of Delhi Marathon As Pollution SurgesRunners at risk of lung infections and other complications from the deteriorating air, doctors warn

New Delhi: Doctors in India have called for the postponement of 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 the burning of some crop stubble in the northern breadbasket states of Punjab and Haryana drove up pollution levels, even though the practice was banned and authorities have threatened to punish offenders.

Read Also: Delhi Government Deploys Marshals To Check Air Pollution Offences

The Heart Care Foundation of India 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 other lung disease, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. More than 32,000 people competed in the race last year, some wearing masks. A high level of PM 2.5, or tiny particulate matter that can reach deep into the lungs, can increase blood pressure and even cause a stroke, the foundation added.

Read Also: Delhi Breathing Better As Air Quality Improves From ‘Emergency’ Level To ‘Very Poor’

Another pollutant, PM10, was a direct threat to runners, as it is inhaled in large amounts when people breathe through the mouth while running, although it is filtered out through the nose when breathing normally.
“In light of this, the Heart Care Foundation of India has called for the immediate postponement of the Delhi Half Marathon to a later date, when the air quality is better,” it said. Vehicle exhaust emissions in a city with limited public transport, emissions from thermal power stations and swirling construction dust are New Delhi‘s main pollutants.

Read Also: Air Pollution Level Increases Again In Delhi Due To Local Factors

City authorities have launched a drive to seize and scrap ageing diesel vehicles. “We are starting a fresh drive to seize diesel vehicles that are over 15 years and parked in public spaces,” said the city’s transport minister, Kailash Gahlot. In winter, crop burning in the farm states around the landlocked capital city worsens the situation.
The chief minister of Punjab, Amarinder Singh, told media he saw smoke plumes over fields during a helicopter flight last week, adding that the state was doing its best to stop the practice.

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swachh India campaign lends support to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, the campaign aims to spread awareness about hygiene and sanitation, the importance of building toilets and making India open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019, a target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014. Over the years, the campaign has widened its scope to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollutionclean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.

© Thomson Reuters 2018

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