Air quality ‘poor’ on Diwali day, Bhandup the most polluted
MUMBAI: Eight out of 10 locations in Mumbai recorded ‘poor’ air quality levels at 5pm on Wednesday, even before Mumbaiites got to burst firecrackers on Diwali evening.
Mumbai recorded an air-quality index of 225 for particulate matter (PM2.5), according to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), posing a health risk to people sensitive to air pollution. Particles less than 2.5 (PM2.5) microns are more dangerous as these can penetrate deeper into the lungs and enter the bloodstream.
The index is expected to rise to 282 on Thursday as a result of pollutants released from firecrackers.
The air-quality index has to be between 0 and 50 for it to have minimal impact on a person’s health, while 51 to 100 can cause minor breathing discomfort, anything beyond 101 can cause breathing discomfort depending on how long a person is exposed to the polluted air.
On Wednesday, the air in Bhandup was most polluted at 245 for PM2.5.
“Air pollution levels are expected to peak during the early hours of Thursday. With a drop in temperatures, the existing pollutants, along with those from firecrackers, will enhance pollution levels,” said Neha S Parkhi, senior programme officer, SAFAR and Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune.
Parkhi said over the next two days, children, senior citizens and those sensitive to pollution should avoid spending a lot of time outdoors.
CONTINUED ON P6