IMA raises concern over India-Bangladesh T20 citing AQI
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IMA raises concern over India-Bangladesh T20 citing AQI

Air pollution can be an important factor in affecting performance of players.

IMA raises concern over India-Bangladesh T20 citing AQI

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) is concerned over the upcoming match between India and Bangladesh in Delhi in the wake of the high levels of air pollution in the city. The teams will face each other at Arun Jaitely Feroz Shah Kotla stadium on November 3.  

The IMA took up the issue with the Board of Cricket Council of India (BCCI) and other concerned authorities through a letter. Former president of the IMA, Dr KK Aggarwal, pointed out that air quality in the Delhi-NCR region has been ranging between ‘very poor’ and ‘severe’ for the last several days. 

Exposure to air pollution increases the risk of lung and heart disease and may precipitate an acute potentially life-threatening event. “But, when pollution levels increase, everyone including healthy persons may experience some level of discomfort,” he averred adding the performance of the athletes is bound to get affected. 

In a situation where milliseconds and millimetres often determine the success or failure of athletes, air pollution can be an important factor in affecting their performance.

The IMA suggested that the poor air quality should be taken into consideration while determining playing conditions. Atmospheric pollution should also be included in the assessing criterion for a match.

The safe levels of atmospheric particulate matter (PM), according to the World Health Organization (WHO) air quality guidelines, are 20 μg/cu mm (annual mean) for PM10 and 10 μg/ cu mm (annual mean) for PM2.5.

If the air quality index (AQI) is between 151 and 200, it means the air pollution level is "unhealthy". Hence, it is recommended that outdoor exercises should be avoided. If the AQI is between 201 and 300, all outdoor activities and sports should be reduced because at that time the air pollution level is "very unhealthy". 

Air pollution level will be "Hazardous" if the AQI is more than 300+, all outdoor exercise and activities should be avoided as much as possible. 

The message that the India and Bangladesh cricket match would convey is that it is safe for children to play cricket even when the PM 2.5 levels are more than 300.

There is sufficient evidence in medical literature documenting the adverse effects of air pollution on the human body.