Air quality plummets in Bangkok, will worsen on Friday, Saturday
The quality of air in 59 areas around Greater Bangkok fell to unsafe levels on Tuesday morning, reports from the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) show.
PM2.5 (particles less than 2.5 micrometres in diameter) were in the range of 41-81 micrograms per cubic metre (μg/m3). Thailand’s standard for safe levels of PM2.5 is 50μg/m3 or lower, while the World Health Organisation puts it at 12μg/m3 or lower.
Exposure to fine dust particles can be dangerous for people with chronic respiratory problems and can cause eye, nose, throat and lung irritation as well as shortness of breath among others.
As of 7am, the top 10 most polluted districts in Bangkok were:
• Nong Khaem: 81μg/m3
• Khlong Sam Wa: 76μg/m3
• Prawet: 70μg/m3
• Lat Krabang: 70μg/m3
• Bang Khen: 69μg/m3
• Bueng Kum: 69μg/m3
• Don Muang: 68μg/m3
• Lak Si: 66μg/m3
• Minburi: 66μg/m3
• Bang Sue: 66μg/m3
The BMA has also warned people in Greater Bangkok to be prepared for air pollution readings to surge on Friday and Saturday.
Bangkok governor Chadchart Sittipunt said on Monday that the air quality is bad because this is the cool season and there is little air circulation.
Hence, he said, people should wear a facemask, avoid outdoor exercise between 4 and 5am and check the air quality before stepping outdoors.
“The BMA is doing its best to eliminate the cause of air pollution, like reducing smoke from cars and factories,” he said.
He added that the BMA will also call on nearby provinces to take proactive steps in tackling air pollution.
The state of PM2.5 pollution can be monitored via bangkokairquality.com, the Bangkok Environment Department, Air Quality and Noise Management Division, the BMA Facebook page or the AirBKK smartphone application.