By THE NATION
With the PM 2.5 dust particle value once again exceeding the standard in Bangkok and surrounding areas, Department of Health director-general Dr Panpimol Wipulakorn predicted on Thursday (December 12) that the air pollution would escalate this weekend.
“Currently the PM 2.5 level is at 101-200 by air quality index (AQI) standard, indicated by the orange color, and will start to affect the health if people are exposed to the air for too long,” she said. “Since there aren’t many strong winds during winter, the air will become stagnant and the dust particles will settle in instead of being blown away in the next few days.”
The director-general further suggested that people in risk groups should avoid staying outdoors for extended periods. “Risk groups include small children, the elderly, pregnant women, people with asthma, allergy, conjunctivitis and coronary diseases, as well as those who have to work outdoors for extended hours,” she said. “When entering areas with danger-level dust particles, please wear N95 masks and make sure to wear them correctly and change the mask after 1-2 days of use.”
“Most importantly, do not wear any kind of masks when exercising outdoors, since the mask will make you breathe harder and faster which could affect the heart,” she added.
Citizens are advised to monitor themselves and their close friends and family for air pollution related symptoms. “If you or anyone are suffering from such symptoms as frequent coughing, difficulty breathing, chest pain, heart palpitations, nausea or dizziness, see a doctor immediately,” Panpimol added.
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