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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

‘Very poor’ air in city for third consecutive day

Four out of nine SAFAR monitors in the city saw an AQI above 300, while four saw ‘poor’ air with index values exceeding 200. Only Borivali saw ‘moderate’ pollution levels with an AQI of 183.

Mumbai: The System of Air Quality Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), on Saturday evening, recorded the city’s overall Air Quality Index (AQI) at 304. Air pollution levels remained in the ‘very poor’ category for the third consecutive day. On Friday, the AQI stood at 319.

Four out of nine SAFAR monitors in the city saw an AQI above 300, while four saw ‘poor’ air with index values exceeding 200. Only Borivali saw ‘moderate’ pollution levels with an AQI of 183.

According to SAFAR, when the AQI is 200 to 300, it is considered ‘poor’ and if it is more than 300 it is considered ‘very poor.’

As predicted earlier by Gufran Beig, project director, SAFAR, the prevailing pollution levels are due to a slowing down of wind speeds, which is typical for the winter season. Stating that poor air quality will last till January end, Beig said over the last two months, there have been unprecedented changes in the weather scenario.

“Owing to the phenomenon of La Nina (cold ocean temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific), India will continue to experience more than unusual cooler and extended winter. In addition, the western part of India is influenced by the warming of the Mediterranean Sea,” Beig added. “As a result, there are more than unusual calm winds across the Mumbai region and surrounding parts of western India. This has ensured that the dispersion of air pollutants, being emitted from pollution-related activities, does not happen swiftly despite Mumbai being surrounded by an ocean.”

Four out of nine SAFAR monitors in the city saw an AQI above 300, while four saw ‘poor’ air with index values exceeding 200. Only Borivali saw ‘moderate’ pollution levels with an AQI of 183.

According to SAFAR, when the AQI is 200 to 300, it is considered ‘poor’ and if it is more than 300 it is considered ‘very poor.’

As predicted earlier by Gufran Beig, project director, SAFAR, the prevailing pollution levels are due to a slowing down of wind speeds, which is typical for the winter season. Stating that poor air quality will last till January end, Beig said over the last two months, there have been unprecedented changes in the weather scenario.

“Owing to the phenomenon of La Nina (cold ocean temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific), India will continue to experience more than unusual cooler and extended winter. In addition, the western part of India is influenced by the warming of the Mediterranean Sea,” Beig added. “As a result, there are more than unusual calm winds across the Mumbai region and surrounding parts of western India. This has ensured that the dispersion of air pollutants, being emitted from pollution-related activities, does not happen swiftly despite Mumbai being surrounded by an ocean.”

According to SAFAR, AQI in the ‘very poor’ category triggers health alerts, every one may experience health effects and a significant increase in respiratory problems. The SAFAR health advisory for the ‘very poor’ category read that everyone should reduce heavy exertion. For people with heart or lung disease, older adults and children should avoid longer or heavy exertion.

Note: The information given here is based on religious belief and public belief. There cannot be any scientific evidence for this. Keeping in mind the general interest and knowledge, it is being presented here.

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