DPP Legislator Liu Chien-Kuo said that the government should consider delaying or even cancelling marathons in Taiwan due to pollution, UDN reported. As the AQI levels have reached unhealthy levels in the past week, outdoor exercise can pose a greater health risk.
Liu said that the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the EPA should implement guidelines pertaining to air pollution and sports events. He added that marathon participants should consider wearing N99 masks to reduce the health risk from PM 2.5, which can severely damage the lungs and increase the risk of heart attacks.
The Ministry of Health and Welfare responded that while air pollution can increase health risks to runners, it has no authority to delay or shut down a marathon or other sports activities. The EPA gave a similar statement.
While Liu’s comments were focused on marathons, the Tour de Taiwan begins on Sunday in Taipei. The weather will be cooler for the cyclists, but there is no forecast for the AQI. Perhaps spectators will see some cyclists donning air pollution masks. Taipei will also host the Universiade in 2017 and wants to provide a healthier environment for athletes and visitors.
Today’s AQI for Taipei ranges from 61 to 124 as of 14:20. Check this website for current air quality conditions.