This is How Delhi’s ‘Poor’ Air Quality Might Mar FIFA U-17 Event

The level of coarse air pollutants “far exceeded” the safe levels in the host cities since last October, reportedly.

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Health News
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Players of India and USA vie for the ball during their U-17 FIFA World Cup football match in New Delhi on Friday.
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A day before the U-17 FIFA world cup kicks off in Delhi, environment NGO Greenpeace said on 5 October that the level of coarse air pollutants PM10 "far exceeded" the safe levels in the host cities of the tournament last October.

The Greenpeace report came on a day the national capital recorded 'poor' air quality for the second consecutive day.

Greenpeace executive Sunil Dahiya said such levels of air pollution could also reduce the quality of football played at the tournament.

According to a study by the German League, football matches that take place during periods of heavy air pollution are played more slowly. The study also found that health impacts are strongest when PM10 concentration is above 50µg/m3 and when players have fewer than five rest days between matches.
Sunil Dahiya

Last month, in a series of meetings the Supreme Court-monitored Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority had expressed concern over a possible spike in pollution levels during the World Cup and had directed concerned agencies to take preventive measures.

The NGO claimed high level of PM10 may "reduce" the quality of football played during the tournament.

According to the report, in October 2016, the average levels of PM10 - coarse particulates measuring less than 10 microns in diameter - were 304 and 100 microgrammes per cubic metre (ug/m3) in Delhi and Mumbai.

The 24-hour average prescribed standard of PM10 is 100 and the annual prescribed average is 60.

Delhi will co-host the tournament with Mumbai, Kochi, Margao (Goa), Guwahati and Kolkata.

PM10 level on 6 October last year in Delhi was 234µg/m3, and 320µg/m3 on October 16 (when Delhi hosts the last tournament match this year). These values are over 4 times and 6 times above the World Health Organisation’s limits of 50µg/m3 over a 24-hour period, and over 2 and 3 times above India’s PM10 standards of 100µg/m3 (over a 24 hour period).
Greenpeace India Statement

(Breathe out: Are you finding it tough to breathe in polluted air? Join hands with The Quint in partnership with #MyRightToBreathe to find a solution for pollution. Send in your suggestions to fit@thequint.com or WhatsApp @ +919999008335 )

(With inputs from PTI.)

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