While reports on the visibility in the national capital hit headlines again, Mumbai wasn’t far behind with the air quality index touching 238, which falls in the very unhealthy category.The view from Lower Parel was also foggy at around 8 am on Monday morning. The sun was covered by a thick layer of smog, and this reporter’s eyes began watering after taking pictures of the area outside office. Read about Delhi’s pollution levels on January 1, 2018 here.In October 2017, Mumbai woke up to a smoggy morning with the Air Quality Index at US Consulate reaching a hazardous level of 341 at 6 am. This was primarily due to the firecrackers in Diwali, even though the city experienced a less noisy festival than previous years.On December 9, the AQI had hit 309, which meant that the city’s air had reached hazardous levels. Incidentally, Mumbai’s air had touched 43, an after effect of Cyclone Ockhi that had hit the city a week earlier.Also readOne in four Indians suffers from non-communicable diseasesThe air quality in the island city has been a problem for the past month. Only on Saturday, while driving through Navi Mumbai, located on the outskirts of the city, did this reporter witness the sun struggling to come out of a thick cover of smog.People on Twitter, too, have vented their frustration, saying that Mumbai had no reason to become another Delhi. One person even tweeted, “Delhi has stubble burning from other states as a main pollution causing factor. What excuse does Mumbai have?”Some people have even announced that they have purchased air purifiers to combat the pollution.In 2015, it was reported that 3.11 crore Indians suffer from respiratory disorders. According to a report published in Global Burden of Diseases published in The Lancet on October 6, 2016, smoking is a bigger risk factor for Indians than even cholesterol and iron deficiency.Unfortunately for both Delhi and Mumbai, the air quality index levels are equivalent to smoking and the frequency of respiratory diseases is likely to only increase unless the respective authorities – both civic and state – figure out a way to counter the ever increasing air toxicity.

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Mumbai air reaches ‘very unhealthy’ levels; cases of respiratory disease likely to increase