Air quality in the D.C. Metro area received a failing grade for 2013, in the American Lung Association’s new State of the Air report card for 2013. While the pollution can prove hazardous for vulnerable populations like children, the elderly, and those with asthma, poor air quality can also be an issue for D.C.’s runners.
Randall Myers, a boardmember of the Washington Area Bicyclist Association and runner of two years, says air quality is probably not life threatening for him, but it can have a big effect on his outdoor activities.
“If the air quality is bad, if I can’t get oxygen, that dictates when and where I will run,” Myers says.
Myers takes to the trails and streets all over the District, and says the combination of heat, fumes and idling cars downtown keeps him away during the summer months. More greenery and fewer cars in Rock Creek Park, by contrast, make it more attractive.
“I’m a bit concerned, because as someone who goes out there and breathing a lot of the toxic fumes out, you don’t know how dangerous it is,” Myers says.