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Current Affairs

Air pollution in Mumbai

Date: 10 February 2022 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

High level of pollution has been witnessed in Mumbai as Air Quality Index (AQI) has been reading frequently above 300.

 

Background

Mumbai witnesses relatively lower pollution levels compared to other cities such as Delhi, Pune or Ahmedabad.

 

Details

The AQI levels have been continuously high since 2-3 days. The number between 300-400 is considered ‘severe’ and comes under red colour-code category.

 

Reasons for air pollution

  • The reason for the higher pollution level is a second dust storm that has hit the city in last two weeks.

  • The dust storm originated near the border areas of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Rajasthan. Previously storms from middle-east have hit the city.

  • Contributing to the pollution are factors such as low-speed winds, low temperature, high relative humidity, and coldness of the air.

  • Low wind speeds have caused local pollutants to accumulate, which otherwise is regularly cleared by strong sea breeze.

 

Continuation of situation

The air quality is said to improve slowly over next few days. Residents have been advised to avoid outdoor activity in the early mornings and after sunset. 

 

AQI

  • AQI is a mean of particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10), ozone (O3), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulphur dioxide (SO2) and carbon monoxide (CO) emissions.

  • It is provided by System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting Research (SAFAR) of Ministry of Earth Sciences.