Deonar fire: Wear masks, stay indoors, says health advisory

This was the health advisory given by air pollution watchdogs to those living in and around Deonar, where the air quality had plummeted

It’s time to bring out the face masks, particularly for those living in and around Deonar, with these areas registering ‘very poor’ air quality following the blaze at the dumping ground.

Pollution rose across the rest of the city as well, with Mumbai witnessing an Air Quality Index (AQI) of 222 yesterday. This is expected to dip to 227 today, which falls in the poor air quality category. However, at Chembur the air quality was very poor at an AQI of 301, with barely any change expected today (300). Such pollution levels can give rise to respiratory illness on prolonged exposure.

The latest fire at Deonar dumping ground. Pic/Sameer Markande

According to the health advisory by System for Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), sensitive people are more likely to experience health complaints across Mumbai, but in Chembur the situation is far more serious because of the proximity to Deonar. “Everyone may experience more or less health problems, avoid outdoor activity. It is advisable to use pollution masks,” is the advice for Chembur residents.

Worse than Delhi
In comparison, Delhi, the country’s pollution capital, experienced much better air quality due to favourable weather conditions.

The capital city recorded a moderate AQI of 124 yesterday and is expected to notch 128 today. Delhi also fared better when it came to particulate matter (PM) in the air. At 6.20 PM, the real-time readings of PM 2.5 in Delhi and Mumbai were 57 and 97.8 ug/m3. The corresponding PM 10 levels were 135.9 and 138.5 respectively. However, Mumbai was still within the safe limits.

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