Centre for Science and Environment releases the results of exposure air quality monitoring conducted during Sunday’s event
Delhi’s marathon for health was far from what it was intended to be. Air quality monitoring conducted by city-based non-profit Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) showed unacceptable levels of exposure to tiny particles—PM2.5.
Runners were exposed to high levels of pollution, since with every breath, athletes typically take in 10 to 20 times as much air, and thus pollutants, as sedentary people. The risk increases as marathons are generally held after the onset of winter when cool and calm weather conditions trap pollutants close to ground level and cause high exposure.
CSE carried out real-time exposure monitoring during the marathon event (08:30-11:00 am) along the route near India Gate, Rashtrapati Bhawan, Rajpath, Shahjahan Road, Khan Market and Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. This monitoring is different from the ambient monitoring done by the government. Exposure monitoring captures the pollution on the road within our breathing zone, which normally records higher levels than the ambient level monitored by Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC). But the trends correlate.
Findings by CSE
CSE says this winter will require nearly day-to-day and hour-to-hour pollution management for public health protection. It demands that the action agenda for winter pollution management must be rolled out immediately. Some of the measures suggested include reducing traffic volume and cutting down pollution from open burning, construction and power plants. CSE also says Delhi needs daily health alert and contingency plan during severely polluted days.
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