Delhi air may trouble athletes during Commonwealth Games

With massive construction activities as a build-up to the 2010 sporting event, the city air is getting more and more polluted which the sport persons from many Commonwealth countries might find uncomfortable, according to health experts.

"Athletes, who breathe deeper and longer, can find themselves very uncomfortable. Higher level of suspended material could increase their stress level, and in turn affect their performance," said Dr A K Sood, senior health expert at Rockland Hospitals.

According to the World Bank data, the level of suspended particulate matter (SPM), a pollutant that can cause various respiratory problems, in Delhi revolves around 150 milligram per metre cube (mg/m3), almost seven times higher than several other Commonwealth countries.

While the level range between 0-25 mg/m3 in Melbourne, Kuala Lumpur, Auckland, Cape Town and Birmingham, it is little above 40 mg/m3 in Singapore and Nairobi, the World Bank data shows.
In Islamabad and Dhaka, the air is less polluted than Delhi as the SPM level in the two cities veer around 134 and 174 mg/m3 respectively.

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