• Mon. Jun 17th, 2024

Only a marginal improvement in toxicity in air in 2023 over 22, far better than Delhi: Study | Mumbai News


MUMBAI: A comparison of carcinogenic PM 2.5 levels in Mumbai’s air between 12 months of 2022 and that of outgoing 2023 by Climate Trends (CT), a research-based consulting and capacity building initiative on environment-based issues, suggested that only four months of 2022 met pollution targets to achieve better quality air while in 2023 the same pollution standards could be achieved for a six months period.It may be mentioned here that the four months of winter starting from November till February show maximum pollution in air in major Indian cities.
“The marginal 0.3 percent decrease in pollution levels across the year warrants a detailed evaluation of air quality management strategies to achieve depollution of Mumbai’s air. Despite a slight improvement, the limited reduction underscores the persistent challenges and the need for more robust interventions,” the CT analysis, based on the central pollution control board (CPCB) data, said. However, Mumbai’s pollution levels remained far better in 2023 than Delhi which is considered as one of the top polluted cities in the world.
“In 2023, Delhi experienced a surge in winter pollution compared to 2022, attributed to factors like meteorological conditions and increased emissions. Conversely, pollution levels in other pre-monsoon months decreased, possibly due to metrology and other factors. This shift underscores the need for targeted interventions to address specific seasonal challenges,” the analysis stated further. Meanwhile, on Sunday, the last day of 2024, the air quality index of Mumbai remained at moderate level with only Chembur and Govandi remaining in poor AQI range.
It may be mentioned here that post heavy pollution in November, the state pollution control board (MPCB) with the help of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) took stringent actions such as closure of construction sites and ready mix concrete plants, and smaller and bigger industrial installations for not taking requisite measures to arrest dust and smoke. Similarly, they stopped entry of eight year old commercial vehicles besides suggesting proactive measures to convert crematoria into electric burning facilities and change bakery ovens to greener modes. They also used recycled sewage water, mainly after the tertiary treatment, for cleaning of roads across Mumbai to reduce the dust pollution due to vehicles. However, experts recommend such moves for a longer period to achieve sustainable results.
However, recently the Respirer Reports (RR), an arm of Respirer Living Sciences (RLS),a climate-tech platform that provides actionable data to achieve cleaner air, in its recent analytical study had revealed that Mumbaikars had better quality air this month (december) compared to December of the last four years. In november 2023, however, the RR analysis said, a marginal rise was visible in PM 2.5 against november 2019, thanks to the weather patterns and diwali crackers other than smoke and dust from vehicles and construction sites.
The carcinogenic or toxic particulate matter PM 2.5 is nothing but a fine particulate matter which is less than 1/30th the width of a strand of human hair and can directly get injected into the human bloodstream upon respiration. In November, Bandra Kurla Complex, with a PM2.5 of 86.2 μg/m3 (>17 times the WHO safe limit of 5ug/m3), was the city’s most polluted place while in the ongoing December (till Dec 25), Shivaji Nagar in Govandi, with a PM2.5 of 93.6 μg/m3 (>18 times the WHO safe limit), remained the most polluted place, the RR report said. PM 2.5 is measured in ug/m3 that stands for microgram (one millionth of a gram) per cubic meter of air.
Interestingly, a separate study by IIT-B and International Society of Exposure Sciences (ISES), USA had also pointed out that PM2.5 levels on Diwali night in November this year were 2.8 times higher than non-Diwali night and 2.1 times higher over Diwali day indicating the impact of active firework period on PM2.5 concentration, considered as toxic for human health. According to IIT-B and ISES festive fireworks elevated harmful chemical constituents such as oxides of nitrogen, oxides of sulphur, nickel, chromium and lead in air in the residential areas.
“According to RR analysis in November 2022, Deonar, with a PM2.5 of 102.6 μg/m3 (>20 times the WHO safe limit), was the most polluted place in Mumbai while in December 2022 Colaba, with a PM2.5 of 177.6 μg/m3 (>35 times the WHO safe limit), was the most polluted place in the city,” RR report had said.


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