Blessing in disguise: Rains usher in cleanest air for Mumbaikars

Rain over the weekend was a blessing for the Mumbaikars as they got relieved from the heat and another blessing in the form of the cleanest air, as Mumbai is breathing its cleanest air in the three years since the Monday morning.

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On Monday, the city’s Air Quality Index (AQI) – a pollutant measuring indicator – was 18 for PM2.5 pollutant, which is small-sized pollutants up to 2.5 microns that can enter the lungs easily, and well within the ‘good’ limit. AQI up 50 is considered good, 51-100 is satisfactory, 101-200 moderate, 201-300 poor, 301-400 very poor, and 401 and above is severe.

Researchers from the System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), which measures AQI in the city, said the weather is responsible for the reduced pollution. “Active monsoon conditions over Mumbai, with rain over the weekend, dispersed pollutants closer to the surface. At the same time, high wind speed further cleansed the air,” said Gufran Beig, project director, SAFAR. “This is the lowest pollution levels on record for the city so far.”

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The city recorded an AQI of 52 on Sunday, SAFAR recorded 64 of AQI on Tuesday that is satisfactory. The last time Mumbai breathed clean air was back in 2015 and then in 2017 when the air quality reached 32 which is good. Earlier this month, on June 4, Mumbai recorded an AQI of 34 (good).

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