A young man in Dezhou, Shandong, has died after his boarding school decided to hold gym class outdoors. Dezhou, which ranks #5 on pm25s.com’s “Worst Air Quality Rankings” board, was featuring a 400+ AQI when the boy died after taking part in running exercises.
Smog has been repeatedly linked to long-term negative health effects like cancers and reduced life expectancies, but sudden-death cases (i.e. a smog-provoked respiratory arrest) are uncommon. At the end of the day, the student may have been the causality of a stupid and ineffective school bureaucracy, as China Daily reports:
The student’s parents believe strenuous outdoor exercise in the smog was the cause of their son’s death but the school argued it had not received notice to suspend outdoor exercises from its superior department.
The school said it was difficult to conclude what impact the physical education class had on the student’s death.
The school’s argument seems to be, “we hadn’t received notice to suspend outdoor activities, therefore outdoor activities aren’t what killed your child.” When smog swept the Shanghai/Jiangsu area earlier this month, many schools barred all outdoor activities, and even opted for indoor flag-raising ceremonies. Shandong, one of the smoggiest regions in the country, may want to invest in some treadmills for its gym classes.
[Image via Flickr]