Avoid Running During a Smog / Fog

Posted: November 24, 2007 in marathon, running

“1966 400 die of respiratory failure & heart attack in killer NYC smog” I saw this old News headline and I thought as a runner you need to  be aware of the danger of running during a fog or Mist.

According to a dark story, “The London Smog Disaster of 1952”,  In a cold December, Smoke, sulphur dioxide from the city’s chimneys, accumulated in the foggy air. Nobody realised what was happening until it was noticed that the undertakers were running out of coffins and the florists out of flowers. Only later it was realised that the number of deaths during the days of the smog was over 4000.

The term smog simply describes fog that has soot in it. According to wikipedia, fog is a cloud in contact with the ground. Fog is distinct from mist only in its density. If you have been out running early morning during the cold season you have seen how the atmosphere is dark.

When a fog meets Industrial and vehicle emissions, road dust, agriculture, construction and wood burning, you have a smog.

If you are running during a fog you will be exposing yourself to Carbonmonoxide from motor vehicle exhaust. You will have difficulty breathing when the air is heavily polluted, this will contribute to cardiac stress. Smog can irritate your eyes, nose and throat. Or it can worsen existing heart and lung problems. The people most at risk are those who suffer from heart and lung problems.

To minimise risk avoid or reduce exercising near areas of heavy traffic, especially during rush hour.

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