In the Blanket of Air Pollution: Mumbai Ranked 2nd most Polluted for February in the World

After Sarajevo, the city of Bosnia, India’s financial hub now holds the unpleasant distinction of having the second-worst air quality in the world for the month of February, according to the air quality index. This is according to IQAir, a Swiss business that monitors the Air Quality Index (AQI). The city, which is known as the “Jaan” (heart of India), is currently covered in a layer of pollution that poses major health concerns to its diligent residents.

According to IQAir’s real-time global air quality monitor, which updates the Global and US Air Quality Standards, Mumbai’s rating on February 13th was rated as 163. Mumbai is placed 11th out of all major cities in the world based on the US AQI for the first half of the year, with the air quality being deemed bad.

 (The Real-time Air Quality Map by IQ Air with a range of 158-184 considered by US AQI standards to be unhealthy).  Sourced by
(The SAFAR – System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research Station in Chembur Recorded a US AQI Score of 184, which is the highest followed by Worli and the US Consulate in Mumbai)  

The Real-time 3d Image by IQ Air combines wind pressure data and shows the AQI bar range with Radar Imagery present. 

Understanding US AQI Standards: Beneath the Veil of Air Pollution

During the year, several governments use an air quality index to inform their citizens of how contaminated the air is and to predict how bad it will get in the days or months to come.

Average measurements are obtained using several air quality monitors. Nevertheless, these measurements vary depending on city traffic, forest fires, and industrial emissions from coal- or non-renewable-source power plants.

Ozone O3, nitrogen dioxide NO2, sulfur dioxide SO2, carbon monoxide CO, and particulate pollution PM 2.5 and PM 10 are the chemicals that these air quality monitors measure for.

Thus, each country has categorized data into different numerical intervals between 0 and 500; the higher the AQI number, the bigger the health issue. A piecewise linear function of the pollutant concentration is used to calculate this.

(In the picture, the US AQI Guidelines are shown based on Ozone and Particulate Pollution and the relative description of Air Quality Source: ). 

Although the US Environmental Protection Agency was the first to create such air quality indices, the US AQI has historically been regarded as the World Standard by monitoring organizations like IQ air; nevertheless, regional variances must be taken into account when evaluating the AQI Standards. Australia, Canada, South Korea, Japan, and the United Kingdom all developed their own AQI criteria throughout time.

As a result, on September 17, 2014, the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched the National Air Quality Index for India in New Delhi. However, India’s AQI completely deviated from the global standards because Mumbai’s air quality is moderate, according to the Indian AQI determined by the Central Pollution Control Board.

(In this picture, India AQI categories are considered based on the pollutants and the relative breakpoints Source:  Central Pollution Control Board of India)
(In this tabular data, the potential health impacts based on the Indian AQI, Source of the Data: Central Pollution Control Board of India) 
(The AQI dashboard of the pollution control board of India, In this real-time map, we can see that most areas in Mumbai come under the moderate health risk category, which is a stark contrast to the US AQI. Source.

What Is Driving Mumbai’s Poor Air Quality Under the Veil of Air Pollution?

(As shown in the Air Quality severity Map from Plume Maps website, the concentration of PM 2.5 is larger scale compared to other adjoining areas within Maharashtra, Map Source:

(In this Map, same as PM 2.5, PM 10 is also substantially higher in Mumbai than in the surrounding areas. Map Source:: ) 

High particulate matter, or PM, is one of the causes of the rise in air pollution in Bombay. They have two PM diameters. We are thinking about PM 10 and PM 2.5.

A PM 10 particle is one that may be inhaled and has a diameter of 10 micrometers or less. A PM 2.5 particle has a diameter of 2.5 micrometers.

(In the Pictures above, the size comparison of Various Particulate matters, Source: and 

96.8 g/m3 of PM 2.5 is now present in Mumbai, which is 19.4 times the WHO yearly air guideline threshpollutionold. PM 10 is at 186.3 g/m3, and Pollution particle levels rise as a result of construction and development activities.

Mumbai’s air quality has significantly worsened this year, according to Dr. Gufran Baig, the project manager and architect of the System of Air Quality, Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR). This occurred because numerous building, transportation, and development operations had no control over emissions. Second, instead of occurring every three to four days, clean winds—which normally carry —appear every 10 to 15 days. This guarantees that the pollutants will stay in the air.

Consequences of Living in an Air-Polluted Environment

(In this Graphic, the effect of Various sizes of Particulate matter on the Human Body , The increase concentration of PM 2.5 can have damaging effects on the Lungs and cause respiratory diseases. , Picture Source: Airborne particulate matter and their health effects – Encyclopedia of the Environment( 

Mumbai saw an estimated 7,000 fatalities in 2021 as a result of air pollution. At least six out of every ten children examined in the OPD had complaints of burning eyes, headaches, colds, and fever, according to Dr. Behzad Bhandari, a pediatrician affiliated with SRCC Children’s Hospital. The effects of treatments take longer than normal to manifest. Long-term, this might lead to youngsters developing asthma issues.

In other celebrity news, Raveena Tandon posted a photo of herself wearing a mask on her Twitter account to demonstrate the severity of the rise in Mumbai’s air pollution levels.

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