Mumbai second most polluted major global city as air quality worsens

India is currently coping with severe air pollution problems, with Mumbai being the second most polluted global city, according to IQAir. Delhi, the sixth most polluted city in the world, also has a significant air pollution problem. The Air Quality Index reached a shocking 160 in Mumbai, far above the safe limit. Delhi is also suffering, with pollution levels almost ten times higher than safe limits. A study revealed that around 1.6 million deaths in India were due to air pollution in 2019, causing a considerable economic impact. The most significant economic loss due to air pollution was in Uttar Pradesh ($5.1 billion), but Delhi had the highest per-capita economic loss. Between 2000 and 2021, there was a drastic rise of 54.8% in particulate matter in South Asia, with Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Pakistan also facing serious pollution increases.


  1. Understanding air pollution levels: Mumbai ranks as the second most polluted city globally while Delhi ranks sixth.
  2. Acknowledging the severity and the health risks: Mumbai's AQI reached 160, with PM2.5 concentration being 14.7 times higher than WHO guidelines. Similarly, pollution level in Delhi exceeded guidelines by 9.8 times.
  3. Recognizing the human and economic cost: Air pollution caused about 1.6 million deaths in 2019 in India, costing the country billions of dollars in losses
  4. Awareness of regional trends: Particulate matter increased by 54.8% between 2000 and 2021 in South Asia, with significant rises in pollution levels in countries like Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.