Mumbai’s Air Quality Is Toxic But Not As Toxic As Delhi Or Kolkata; Air Pollution Rises In Indian Cities

by Vaishalee Kalvankar
Mumbai’s Air Quality Is Toxic But Not As Toxic As Delhi Or Kolkata; Air Pollution Rises In Indian Cities

Respirer Reports, a division of Respirer Living Sciences in Pune, conducted an analysis to determine the levels of carcinogenic PM2.5 concentrations, a measure of air toxicity, in six major Indian capital cities: Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Lucknow, and Patna, from 2019 to 2023. Though at a lesser level than in places like Delhi and Kolkata, Mumbai’s air quality has been on a worrying downward trend. 

Mumbai’s Air Quality Is Toxic

Credits: Canva

Although the air quality in Delhi and Lucknow was worse than in Mumbai during this time, they both showed indications of improvement. In contrast, pollution readings in Kolkata, Bengaluru, and Mumbai steadily increased, indicating a decline in air quality.

Mumbai’s air quality steadily declined over the January–March quarter, with PM2.5 levels rising from 50.2 g/m3 in 2019 to 80.6 g/m3 in 2023, a considerable climb of 60.5%. The average PM2.5 concentration in the air increased from the same time period in 2021 to that of October to December in 2022, but it was slightly lower than that of 2020. 

These results highlight the pressing need for Mumbai to step up its carbon emission reduction efforts. (As per The Times of India)

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City’s AQI Worsens After Monsoon

Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Notably, Mumbai’s air quality dipped into the’moderate’ category on a recent Tuesday for the first time in almost eight months, with an AQI of 150. Colaba was identified as the city’s most polluted area. The air quality index (AQI) was at 318 and was considered “very poor.” 

Other monitored areas, including Andheri, Malad, Navi Mumbai, and Mazgaon, recorded AQI levels ranging from 161 to 201.  All falling into the poor to moderate category. This drop is caused by a combination of low wind speeds and high humidity. 

The director of climate trends, Aarti Khosla, underlined the necessity for additional study to comprehend the variables influencing improvements in air quality. This includes emission sources and climatic circumstances. 

Mumbai’s pollution is attributed primarily to industrial pollutants, rubbish burning, construction site dust, and vehicular pollution. Due to a combination of high wetness, low wind speed, and humidity, the city’s AQI often gets worse. This happens mostly following the monsoon season. This causes the lingering presence of smoke and dust in the air, especially during the winter months. (As per The Times of India)

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Cover Image Courtesy: Canva