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Mumbai air quality becomes ‘very poor’

The air quality in Mumbai has again deteriorated as the Air Quality Index (AQI) for Saturday was recorded at 274. According to System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), the AQI falls under poor category for the city. Whereas, areas like Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), Andheri and Mazagaon recorded the poorest air quality among other areas. The over all PM2.5 level was recorded at 126, which falls under very poor category.

Experts have attributed it to the winter season, where the pollution levels usually soars due to the dip in the temperature. “Due to the cold weather, the pollutants remain trapped in the moisture in the air for a longer time, which deteriorates the air quality overall,” said Gufran Beig, project director of SAFAR.

BKC recorded the poorest air on Saturday, with PM2.5 level, arising from vehicular and industrial pollution, at 356, which falls under ‘very poor’ category. This was followed by Andheri (352), Mazagaon (309) and Malad (305). Along with this, the PM10 level, arising from dust pollution, was also recorded between 230 and 272 in these areas, which falls under poor category.

Chembur, known as the gas chamber of the city, also recorded PM2.5 levels at 223 (poor) with soaring NO2 levels above 200 as well. Air quality experts have stated that when NO2 increases, it leads to an increase in ozone concentration, which is a precursor for formation of ozone. Apart from Borivali, other places including Bhandup, Colaba and Worli too recorded poor air quality.

Navi Mumbai too recorded higher levels of PM2.5 at 303 (very poor). According to SAFAR, in the case of very poor air quality, citizens with heart problems and asthma-related issues should reduce prolonged and heavy exertion.

The city recorded minimum temperature of 15.2 degrees over the last 24 hours since Friday, while the maximum temperature was recorded at 33.9 degrees.

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