Mumbai - Post Report Question and Answers

What is the air quality like at post (good/moderate/bad)? Are there seasonal air quality issues? Does the air quality have an impact on health?

Pollution has gotten worse in the recent years from November-April mostly due to Mumbai’s construction boom. We have air filters in the Consulate and in every room at home but I wear an N95 when the AQI is over 200 and you have to limit your outdoor activities. Many of us have contracted respiratory infections. - Apr 2024

Poor, but not as bad as Delhi. - Jul 2023

Air quality has been getting progressively worse pos- COVID. Predictions abound that in several years Mumbai’s air quality will be worse than New Delhi. This can be hard on people with asthma, but others may get sick or suffer allergies the more time spent outdoors on those bad air quality days. Air quality is good during monsoon season. - May 2023

Yes, some folks get agitated and have coughs. - Feb 2023

Horrible air quality. Even if masks aren't required, you'll wish you could wear one to avoid the river and street smells. - Aug 2021

Bad. - Nov 2020

Air quality is good during rainy season (June – August), moderate from Sept – Nov, Bad from Dec – Feb and Moderate again from March to May. Many expats wear masks during the bad periods. If you have asthma, allergies or other lung-related issues, think twice before coming here, as it can aggravate those conditions immensely. The effects I feel when the AQI is bad are: more sluggishness, nausea at times and headaches. The good news is that the Consulate has been very aggressive in taking measures to combat it. Apartments have an average of five to six air purifiers and apartments are tested annually to make sure the air quality inside is at a healthy range. The Consulate buildings also are purified. The American School of Bombay is also acting very aggressively. The school buildings are already all purified. There are current projects underway to enclose the playgrounds, swimming pools and sport fields. The sad part in all this is that you don’t get to spend much time outside. Having come from a post where I had a big yard with lots of nature, I find this to be one of the hardest adjustments. - Aug 2019

Mumbai is one of the most polluted cities in the world. Air quality is often very bad, especially in the winter when there is more burning for heat, and no rain to keep the dust down. In the summer it is sometimes OK, and during the monsoons it's usually pretty good. That being said, we were so grateful to be in Mumbai and not Delhi. Delhi's air is often 2x worse than Mumbai's. It is the only city in India that I'd not move to. - Mar 2019

Terrible, don't come here if you have respiratory issues. - Jan 2019

Terrible. - May 2018

Bad. Just bad. In the winter people burn garbage to stay warm. Combined with car exhaust and the pervasive landfill fire, there was a stinky cloud enveloping the city. There are good days and bad days, but the bad outnumber the good. - Jun 2017

Air quality is not good. But I mainly stay in except during the eves and weekends. - Aug 2015

Horrible. Especially in "winter" when people burn fires on the street to keep warm. Some days you can't see South Bombay across the water from the Sealink Bridge even though it's only a mile or two. Strong smells abound - fish, filth, other incomprehensible things. - Nov 2014

Moderate to bad. This isn't Delhi or Beijing but it is not good for you to exercise outside and if you have any bit of allergies or asthma, you will really feel it here. - Mar 2014

Good to very unhealthy depending on where you live. The air in Mumbai is pretty bad though. - Feb 2014

Pretty unhealthy. When I first arrived I had a lot of sinus issues until my body adjusted. - Feb 2014

I've had no problems with it. People are worried about it, but I have not seen much to worry about. They say in the winter it's polluted from small fires. - Aug 2013

"Air" and "quality" are two words that have no business being together when describing Mumbai or India. If you mean "How bad are the noxious fumes and odors that pass for air?" then I'll tell you: so bad that we have seriously contemplated buying and wearing gas masks. So bad that we have seriously contemplated putting on scuba tanks and breathing through regulators. So bad that we don't often walk on the streets or take auto-rickshaws, because when we do, we spend the next day coughing, sneezing, and battling sinus headaches and congestion. The putrid smells will literally seep into your clothes and hair and stay there. When your plane lands, the fuselage will fill with a distinctly farty odor just as you pass under the layer of haze that blankets the city at all times. The weather forecast for Mumbai and other parts of India will often say "smokey" instead of cloudy or partly cloudy. - May 2013

Unhealthy, particularly in winter. Most pollution is the result of heavy use of diesel fuel, coal-burning power plants, and bonfires. The city is often under a haze. In addition, the air smells bad most of the time. - Feb 2013

The quality of the air usually doesn't bother me. However, during Mumbai's cooler months from November through January/February, people burn small fires on the street. The smell frequently wakes me up and smoke seems to permeate the entire house. - Dec 2010

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