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Wear a mask, northerners warned

Mar 20. 2018
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By The Nation

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People in the North have been urged to take precautions regarding the haze blanketing several provinces, which carries unsafe amounts of particulate matter.

Dr Suwanchai Wattanayingcharoen, head of the government’s Disease Control Department, on Tuesday warned that the small-particle dust posed risks of respiratory, heart and vascular diseases, as well as eye and skin inflammation.

He said four groups of people were particularly at risk in such conditions – anyone with chronic lung or heart disease, asthma or allergies, the elderly, small children and pregnant women.

People in these groups should wear an N95 face mask and stay indoors when air quality is poor, he said.

With the hot and dry summer prime time for forest fires and people still clear-burning land despite a ban on the practice, Suwanchai said, the haze remained a problem.

Tak earlier this week recorded 140 micrograms per cubic metre of PM10 particulate matter, referring to particles 10 microns in diameter or less. In Chiang Mai the figure was 125.

Anything above 120 is considered hazardous to health.

The Pollution Control Department on Tuesday reported that Muang Lampang had exceeded the PM10 limit with 121 micrograms per cubic metre.

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