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Shut Down Outdoor Activity in Schools, IMA Tells Delhi Govt

In a letter to Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, the IMA National President Dr. KK Aggarwal and the Honorary Secretary General Dr. RN Tandon, said that children are "especially at risk" in air quality ranging from 'poor' to 'severe'.

Aradhna Wal | News18.com

Updated:November 6, 2017, 7:56 PM IST
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Shut Down Outdoor Activity in Schools, IMA Tells Delhi Govt
Children are more prone to harmful effects of air pollution as their lungs are still growing. (Image for representation only.)
New Delhi: The Indian Medical Association (IMA) asked the Delhi government to shut down outdoor sports and other such activities in schools to keep children out of the "hazardous" air pollution levels on Monday.

In a letter to Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, the IMA National President Dr. KK Aggarwal and the Honorary Secretary General Dr. RN Tandon, said that children are "especially at risk" in air quality ranging from 'poor' to 'severe'.

The letter said that when Air Quality Index (AQI) levels cross 200, it is "generally advised" that time spent outdoors be restricted, hence outdoor sports and marathons and other activities should be stopped.

"Children are more prone to harmful effects of air pollution as their lungs are still growing" read the letter. "Children who play... need more oxygen, so they take in more polluted air into their lungs, which hampers the growth of their lungs leading to breathing problems later on in life" it added.

The government's graded action plan to counter air pollution says that schools must close when AQI levels cross 500. Already, private schools, such as The Shri Ram School, Americna Embassy School, Sankriti School and Tagore International School have curbed outdoor activities, such as morning assemblies and sports.

The IMA, on Saturday, also wrote to the organisers of the Delhi Half Marathon to cancel the event this year. The 10th edition of the marathon is to take place on November 19. The organisers, though, have decided to go ahead with the event. The sponsor, Bharti Airtel, in a statement has asked authorities to take care of air pollution concerns from next year.

"Air pollution poses serious health risks and it is important that these concerns are addressed urgently and appropriately by the authorities for Airtel to continue associating with the event next year and beyond," read the statement to the press form Airtel.

The latest AQI bulletin, from the Central Pollution Control Board, showed Delhi's air quality to be 'very poor', at a level of 354.

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| Edited by: Bijaya Das
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