Sydney (Australia), September 14 (EFE) – Organizers and participants of the Sydney Marathon scheduled for this Sunday are aware that controlled burning by authorities to prevent fires is causing serious atmospheric pollution.
Concerns grew on Thursday as the Australian city saw its highest pollution levels since the fires began feeling the impact last weekend: particulate matter levels on the AQI Corporate Index were 156, making it Australia’s fourth most polluted City. world.
The Rural Fire Service today announced it will interrupt controlled burns carried out in recent days as part of next year’s southern summer fire prevention policy, with organizers and authorities hoping pollution will reduce.
Despite the disruption, the New South Wales state health department, where Sydney is located, today advised residents to close windows and avoid outdoor exercise to avoid possible health damage from high concentrations of particulates.
“These small particles can penetrate deep into the lungs and be absorbed into the bloodstream. Short-term effects include difficulty breathing and worsening symptoms of asthma or chronic bronchitis. They can also irritate the lungs, eyes, nose and throat,” he said.
Organizers, for their part, are confident the contamination will dissipate between now and the weekend and the more than 17,000 registered athletes – the highest number since the event began – will be able to start racing without risking their health.
Marathon race director Wayne Laden explained to the media that according to authorities’ forecasts, air quality will improve “significantly” starting on Friday and “Sunday will be relatively good.”
(c) EFE Agency