Mumbai: Mumbai remains the most polluted city in Maharashtra and ranks 71st in terms of the most polluted city in the world in 2018, stated a new data released by Greenpeace and AirVisual. According to reports, Mumbai is comparatively higher in pollution levels than Beijing, which used to be the world’s most polluted city until a few years back.

Based on the 2018 air quality data gathered from public monitoring sources such as the government and private monitoring networks, the report analyses eight cities of Maharashtra. The levels of particulate matter (PM) 2.5, a pollutant that is capable of posing serious health implications, was measured. The air quality data was provided by Swiss company AirVisual since 2015. For the first time ever, AirVisual joined hands with international NGO Greenpeace and released global data based on their findings.

A report in a leading daily stated that the 2018 annual average of Mumbai is found to be 58.6 micrograms per cubic meter (mpcm) by the global database. This is over five times the safe limit of 10 mpcm prescribed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and nearly 1.5 times greater than the permissible limit set by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

Out of the 20 most polluted cities in the world, 18 are in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, said the 2018 World Air Quality Report. India has 15 out of the 20 most polluted cities in the world, with Gurugram and Ghaziabad being the most polluted cities, followed by Faridabad, Bhiwadi and Noida in the top six, with Delhi on the 11th spot, added the report.

The report identified some of the major sources or causes of ambient air pollution. “Industries, households, cars, and trucks emit complex mixtures of air pollutants, many of which are harmful to health. Of all of these pollutants, fine particulate matter has the greatest effect on human health,” it said.

“Most fine particulate matter comes from fuel combustion, both from mobile sources such as vehicles and from stationary sources such as power plants, industry, households, agriculture or biomass burning,” the report added. Environment activists have expressed concern and said government programmes to clean air should “do more than making political statements”.

(With Agency inputs)