Last day of 2015 was most polluted of the year, it may get worse today
MUMBAI: The air pollution level in the city on Thursday was the highest this year, triggering health concerns, according to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR). The air quality index (AQI), a pollutionmeasuring indicator, which was 311 on Thursday, is expected to rise to 315 on Friday.
SAFAR records AQI for particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10), predominantly part of dust, considered dangerous as they can penetrate deep into the respiratory system. An AQI of more than 300 falls in the very poor category.
The health advisory statement issued by SAFAR, which calculates location-wise air quality index at 10 spots in the city, said, “People are advised to avoid outdoor activity, especially children and senior citizens. It is advisable to use pollution masks.”
Experts attributed the sharp rise in AQI to a fall in temperatures and calm winds. “The current AQI levels are alarming for Mumbai, as it is higher than Diwali. Mumbai’s air quality has gradually deteriorated with the onset of winter. The drop in minimum temperatures, along with calm winds, has suspended dust particles very close to the earth’s surface,” said Gufran Beig, scientist at Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune and project director, SAFAR. Beig said a host of domestic and commercial emissions are to blame.
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