Mumbai News: City braces for toxic air with ‘poor’ AQI, PM10 level worse than Delhi | Mint – Mint

Mumbai has been making news for registering an Air Quality Index (AQI) worse than national capital. Alarm bells ring in Maharashtra’s capital city which also faces the threat of Cyclone Tej. 
On Wednesday, as the city’s temperature soared to a four-year high for October, levels of PM10 — Particulate Matter, with a diameter of 10 microns or less (human hair is 50-70 microns) and, therefore, inhalable — crossed its levels in Delhi.
A day earlier, Mumbai’s overall Air Quality Index touched 191, way worse than Delhi’s 84. Andheri and Mazgaon touched 300 plus; Sion and Bandra Kurla Complex crossed 200 — an AQI above 200 is considered Poor, above 300 Very Poor and a serious health hazard.
Notably, the number of ‘Poor’ air quality days in December-January 2022-23 almost doubled from the 17 in that two-month period in 2019-20 in Mumbai.
Mumbai‘s residents are bracing for an onslaught toxic air even when winter is two months away.
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Mumbai’s Air Quality Index (AQI) during last winter was notably worse, with 66 out of 92 days registering “Poor” and “Very Poor” AQI levels. In comparison, Delhi had fewer days with similarly poor AQI. This represents a serious concern, as an AQI above 200 is considered “Poor,” above 300 is “Very Poor,” and constitutes a severe health hazard.
Climate change, the dip in La Nina — the cooling of the ocean surface — and changing wind patterns have partially caused the sudden spike in Particulate Matter in Mumbai’s air. 
‘Dust arising from construction site and construction debris’ has also been identified as one of the top five sources of air pollution by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in its Mumbai Air Pollution Mitigation Plan released in March this year.
The other four are: road dust and its displacement; open burning of solid waste and garbage; usage of unclean fuels in restaurants, dhabas, bakeries and roadside eateries; and a range of industries that include those using Ready Mix Concrete (RMC) plants and casting yard plants.
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