By THE NATION
On Saturday (January 11), the Air Quality and Noise Management Bureau of the Pollution Control Department reported on the website http://air4thai.pcd.go.th/ after its 7am reading from 72 stations in Bangkok and its suburbs that particulate matter less than 2.5 micrograms per cubic metre (PM2.5) averaged 38-92mcg per cubic metre in over 50 areas, exceeding the 50mcg per cubic metre air quality standard of the department.
The World Health Organisation prescribes PM2.5 levels at 25mcg per cubic metre in a 24-hour mean.
Several districts of Bangkok, Pathumthani, Samut Prakarn and Samut Sakhon provinces reported air quality as unhealthy for sensitive groups such as people with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly and children, and they have been urged to limit prolonged exertion. Areas along Din Daeng, Rama III, Samsen and Phetkasem roads were reported with levels of PM2.5 unhealthy for all groups.
The bureau has suggested that residents in polluted areas wear safety masks when engaging in outdoor activities. Since Saturday is National Children’s Day when many organisations have planned activities for young audiences, parents should take extra care of their children, the bureau said. Children must wear safety masks when staying outdoors and look out for symptoms such as coughing, difficulty in breathing and eye irritation, the bureau added.