Mumbai: As rain activity has picked up pace, Mumbaikars on Friday breathed the cleanest air recorded so far. With a score of 10, the city has recorded the best air quality index (AQI) level since the System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) began monitoring in June 2015.
AQI is measured by the level of the main pollutant in the air—particulate material 2.5 or PM2.5, particles that measure less than 2.5 microns. AQI levels for PM2.5 up to 50 are good as it does not pose any health risks, 51-100 satisfactory, 101-200 moderate, 201-300 poor, 301-400 very poor and above 400 severe.
Mumbai’s AQI of 10 was the best compared to Pune’s 35, Ahmedabad’s 50, and Delhi’s 65. SAFAR has forecast Mumbai’s AQI to remain ‘good’ for another two days.
Vehicular pollution, dust, smoke from garbage burning and industries mainly contribute to the pollution in Mumbai. During monsoon, the combination of high moisture, low wind speed and humidity forces the city’s rising smoke and dust to hang in the air, making the overall air quality very poor. But the heavy sea breeze and consistent rainfall have made the air clean.
Earlier this year, two succe-ssive dust storms that had hit Mumbai’s coast in the last week of January and first week of February had made the air virtually unbreathable with the AQI crossing the 500-mark, the worst-level quality count ever for humans to breathe.
Conversion of vehicles to greener fuels, power generation through greener modes and pollution-free garbage disposal will be the solutions to reach net-zero pollution goals, said experts.


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