With the fire in the Deonar dumping ground yet to be doused completely, the air pollution in Mumbai managed to reach levels as bad as Delhi, reports a leading English daily. On the evening of January 29, 2016, the Air Quality Index (AQI) levels hit 341, which was Delhi’s value the entire day, according to System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR). The AQI for Mumbai the same day in the morning was 325.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Experts have said that the high pollution levels could be due to the Deonar fire, particularly the increase in PM 10. According to SAFAR, it was the most polluted day in Mumbai since the organisation began in June 2015. Mumbai had hit an AQ of 313 on November 12, a day after Diwali. The air pollution on New Year’s eve was 300. AQI uses 24-hour averages of pollutants which include sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, ozone (O3) and particulate matter. AQI levels over 200 are hazardous for health. If they are between 300 and 400, they are very poor. In such cases health experts advise vulnerable part of the demographic such as people with cardiac and pulmonary illnesses as well senior citizens and children to avoid exertion. SAFAR found that most of the suburbs in the city had poor air quality with Malad having the worst AQI of 432 and Mazgaon with the best of 211.Residents have not only experienced discomfort but also have fallen ill. Sumaira Abdulali of the AWAAZ Founation has said that while there is urgent need to solve the pollution issue, we must not look at pollution as the source. “We must tackle all sources like garbage dump, coal storage, and burning of plastic as a larger problem, otherwise we won’t find the right solution,” she said.With agency inputs.
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