Air pollution problems in Bangkok

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#1 Air pollution problems in Bangkok

Postby Gaybutton » Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:54 am

I don't know if other popular cities such as Pattaya and Chiang Mai are having similar problems. I haven't seen any reports about them, but Pattaya has had a lot of haze lately. According to the article, wearing face masks - those surgical masks - is ineffective.
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Haze returns to city as long holiday ends

7 Jan 2019

Air pollution caused by hazardous particulate dust matter is set to worsen again in the capital, the Pollution Control Department (PCD) has warned.

The ultrafine dust returned to Bangkok and its vicinity Sunday, with 21 areas reporting air pollution exceeding the "safety limits", according to the PCD's official release.

After clear blue skies during the New Year holiday period, the capital's skyline was once again shrouded in smog Sunday morning.

An influx of vehicles driven by those returning from out of town coupled with dry weather and poor air circulation were blamed for dust accumulating again.

The PCD's air monitoring station found 21 roads where levels of airborne particulate matter of up to 2.5 micrometres in diameter (PM 2.5) exceeded the acceptable Thai standard of 50 microgrammes per cubic metre (µg/m³).

Exposure to PM 2.5 has been found to cause short-term adverse health effects such as eye, nose, throat and chest irritation, as well as being linked to long-term health conditions such as asthma and cardiovascular disease.

Normal face masks do not work effectively as PM 2.5 particles are smaller than the width of a single human hair.

According to the PCD, various areas, especially roads, were found to have levels of PM 2.5 between 48 and 81 µg/m³ around noon on Sunday.

They included main roads in the Bang Khunthian, Bang Na, Bang Kapi, Din Daeng, Phaya Thai and Wang Thonglang districts of Bangkok.

The PCD warned that air pollution levels Monday will range between moderate and harmful in the city, and people should monitor relevant information from authorities but not panic.

Children, the elderly, pregnant women and those with chronic diseases were advised to be cautious and quickly visit a doctor if they develop symptoms.

Air quality can be monitored at air4thai.pcd.go.th or via the mobile application "air4thai".

The last haze prompted City Hall to spray water to clean roads as well as implement various other measures, including a ban on parking cars on main roads and impounding vehicles with exhaust fumes that exceed emissions guidelines.

https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/genera ... liday-ends

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#2 Re: Air pollution problems in Bangkok

Postby Alex » Mon Jan 07, 2019 1:36 pm

Gaybutton wrote:I don't know if other popular cities such as Pattaya and Chiang Mai are having similar problems. I haven't seen any reports about them, but Pattaya has had a lot of haze lately.


http://aqicn.org/city/bangkok/
http://aqicn.org/city/chiang-mai/

They have data for other Thai cities as well.

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#3 Re: Air pollution problems in Bangkok

Postby Gaybutton » Wed Jan 09, 2019 4:23 am

Dust pollution in Bangkok area again exceeds safety level

by Apinya Wipatayotin

January 8, 2019

The level of ultrafine dust particles again exceeded safety standards on Tuesday in several areas of Bangkok and surrounding provinces, the Pollution Control Department said.

The PCD measured the hazardous PM2.5 particulates in the air at 51-76 microgrammes per cubic metre, exceeding the safety standard of 50 mcgs/cm in 19 areas of Bangkok and its vicinity. Air quality ranged between moderate and harmful pollution levels.

Ten of the worst affected were in Bangkok and nine in surrounding provinces -- Nakhon Pathom, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Samut Prakan and Samut Sakhon.

The affected areas include parts of Bang Khun Thien (Kanchanapisek Road), Bang Na, Bang Kapi, Din Daeng, Pathumwan (Rama IV Road), Thon Buri (Intharapitak Road), Wang Thong Lang (Lat Phrao), Din Daeng (Din Daeng Road), Phaya Thai and Wang Thong Lang districts (Phlapphla area) in Bangkok; Muang district of Nakhon Pathom; Bang Kruai district of Nonthaburi; Khlong Luang district in Pathum Thani; tambon Songkhanong, tambon Talad, tambon Pak Nam, tambon Bang Sao Thong in Samut Prakan; tambon Omnoi in Samut Sakhon’s Kratum Baen district, and Rama II Road in Muang district of this province.

The PCD urged people to keep abreast of air quality announcements and not to panic. Air pollution would not interfere with their daily activities, the department said.

Children, the elderly, pregnant women and those with chronic disease were advised to be cautious and see a doctor if they experience difficulties.

The department on Monday said people in high-risk areas should avoid outdoor activities or wear N95 rated masks for protection.

Air quality information is available via the department’s website: http://www.air4thai.pcd.go.th and LINE application, air4thai.

https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/genera ... fety-level

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#4 Re: Air pollution problems in Bangkok

Postby fedssocr1 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:39 pm

I actually bought a bunch of those masks a couple of years ago before a trip to Seoul. Luckily I didn't end up needing them there. I've got about a month until I am back in Bangkok. Hopefully things are cleared up by then, but I was reading that last year it didn't get better until March.

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#5 Re: Air pollution problems in Bangkok

Postby fountainhall » Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:58 pm

Sorry to tell you those face masks in the photo are a waste of time and money. The only masks which work are those that fit properly over the face and have filters fitted. I have no idea where to buy them in Bangkok but you can get them from amazon.

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#6 Re: Air pollution problems in Bangkok

Postby Gaybutton » Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:25 pm

fountainhall wrote:Sorry to tell you those face masks in the photo are a waste of time and money.

The article says to use N95 rated masks, whatever that means. If you can't find them anywhere else, maybe hospitals sell them.

I have a different way that I will deal with the air pollution problem in Bangkok. Very simple. I'm not going to Bangkok . . .

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#7 Re: Air pollution problems in Bangkok

Postby fountainhall » Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:57 am

Gaybutton wrote:The article says to use N95 rated masks, whatever that means. If you can't find them anywhere else, maybe hospitals sell them

I have never seen any hospital selling proper face masks - only the flimsy ones that do nothing to stop the small particulate matter that damages the health.

This Cambridge one is available from Lazada for Bt. 3,100 including delivery. It guarantees to prevent 99% of particulate pollution and a variety of other matter you don't want in your system. The filters used in the Cambridge Mask meet the N99 standard which is a US Government specification for pollution masks (and is higher than N95). It's also available on amazon for £25 plus delivery.

Image

I would not be too complacent about not visiting Bangkok. Pattaya will have plenty of days with way over the top pollution figures!

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#8 Re: Air pollution problems in Bangkok

Postby aussie » Sun Jan 13, 2019 5:56 pm

fountainhall wrote:Pattaya will have plenty of days with way over the top pollution figures!

One reason I moved from my condo in Pratumnak at Pattaya was the pollution from vehicles, especially the many big buses that spew out fumes when they accelerate up hills. It is a health hazard just going for a walk in many areas.

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#9 Re: Air pollution problems in Bangkok

Postby Jun » Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:11 pm

It's about time the Thai government thought about tackling pollution by discouraging the use of fuel burning vehicles. As major public transport upgrades are imminent, they should be simultaneously looking at road charges or fuel taxes.
Also a tax system that favours heavy brick shaped diesel pick ups needs to be revised.
Compact cars are more efficient for moving people and for goods, custom made vans are more efficient than some hand made body stuffed onto a pick up.

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#10 Re: Air pollution problems in Bangkok

Postby Gaybutton » Mon Jan 14, 2019 6:37 am

Jun wrote:It's about time the Thai government thought about tackling pollution.

Don't worry. They might get around to doing something about it once enough people start dropping dead in the streets . . .

Image
Thick haze blankets Bangkok's Bang Son area Sundayday morning. The city’s air quality was rated as 'having a negative impact on health' - but on Tuesday it will probably get worse. (Photo by Pornprom Satrabhaya)


Region braces for another bad air day

January 14, 2019

The poor air quality stemming mainly from a high volume of hazardous fine dust particles in Bangkok and surrounding provinces will persist Monday, the Pollution Control Department (PCD) says.

Several parts of the capital, particularly at Suvarnabhumi airport, were shrouded in haze Sunday morning, as depicted in photos posted on the social media.

At one point at 10.30am Sunday, Greenpeace Thailand tweeted that Bangkok ranked the ninth worst city on Earth for air quality, citing a ranking by http://www.airvisual.com which updates around the clock. The city with the worst air quality was New Delhi.

The PCD confirmed the volume of PM2.5 pollutants exceeded the safety standard in several parts of Bangkok, Samut Prakan, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, and Samut Sakhon.

In Bangkok, the volume of the fine dust particles reached a level considered as having a negative impact on health in 35 areas in Bang Khunthian, Bang Na, Bang Kapi, Din Daeng, Pathumwan, Thon Buri, Phaya Thai and Wang Thong Lang districts. The highest volume of fine dust particles was measured in Bang Khun Thian district.

With the weather humid and with no wind, the poor air quality is expected to last until Monday. The department said it was working with City Hall and the provinces to carry out measures aimed at curbing dust particles.

The measures include washing roads every day, getting tough on cars belching black fumes, and inspecting construction sites to ensure they keep the level of dust-generating activities low.

Bangkok Metropolitan Administration environment office director Chatri Watthanakhechon said a team will monitor the air quality situation in all 50 districts and curb activities that may exacerbate the fine dust particle situation such as rubbish or grass burning.

https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/genera ... ad-air-day
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Smog serious threat to public health: experts

January 14, 2019

By Pratch Rujivanarom, The Nation

Air pollution blankets capital for third day in a row, with prospects of prolonged unhealthy air quality levels

Authorities must take the air pollution problem in Bangkok seriously and strictly enforce mitigation measures to protect people’s health, academics said, while warning of serious financial costs to match.

They pointed out that the country would face billions of baht in additional health costs unless the severe air pollution blanketing the capital was promptly curbed.

The pollution continued to remain at harmful levels for the third straight day yesterday and the situation was likely to remain critical for at least another month due to weather patterns, said Witsanu Attavanich, associate professor of economics at Kasetsart University.

He feared both state agencies and the public were largely underestimating the dangers of air pollution and proper prevention and mitigation measures were still inadequate.

Bangkokians awoke yesterday morning to find their city once again smothered by thick smog that reduced visibility to just one kilometre in some areas. It was not regular winter fog but a deadly cloud of fine dust particles and other air pollutants, according to China-based air-pollution monitoring website http://aqicn.org. The site reported that the PM2.5 air-quality index (AQI) in Bangkok yesterday reached a peak of 195, an unhealthy level, while some areas such as Bang Khen district were at hazardous levels, with PM2.5 AQI at 394 yesterday morning. The site forecast that Bangkok would face harmful levels every morning for the rest of the week because there was little wind.

Nevertheless, people wearing facemasks remained a rare sight around the capital. Many children and seniors could be seen going about their outdoor activities as usual.

“Air pollution is really a silent killer and many Thais underestimate the danger to their health, so not many people protect themselves by wearing a facemask or installing air purifiers at home,” Witsanu said.

“The official air pollution warning system is also too weak and doesn’t reflect the true severity of the situation,” he said. “Thais don’t have lungs of steel, so we need to consider the environment and people’s health before we pursue economic growth.”

According to his research on pollution-related health costs in 2017, every microgram of PM10 beyond the safe limit cost the people of Bangkok up to Bt18.42 billion in medical expenses.

While his research did not examine financial impacts that PM2.5 pollution triggered, Witsanu said medical costs are definitely much higher because PM2.5 has a greater impact on health.

The current pollution in the capital will cause immeasurable additional health expenditure, he warned. “We all know that air pollution is not a new problem in Bangkok, and agencies such as the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration [BMA] and Pollution Control Department [PCD] already have mitigation measures to tackle the problem. But our question is whether these measures are being strictly implemented and whether they can truly mitigate the problem,” he said.

Witsanu emphasised the importance of the authorities taking air pollution seriously and immediately tackling the problem at its root. He called for monitoring construction sites and limiting cars on the streets, rather simply telling people to wear facemasks. He urged everyone to spread the word about air pollution.

Environmental-health expert Sonthi Kotchawat cautioned that PM2.5 was so harmful because it’s very fine dust particles, small enough to pass through the lungs and enter the bloodstream. Long exposure can cause respiratory diseases, including lung cancer, heart disease and stroke, he said. Sonthi said it was important to mitigate air pollution at its roots by controlling outdoor burning, implementing pollution controls in the transportation sector and curbing the use of fossil fuels.

He urged the PCD to not merely issue warnings, saying its officials are obligated by law to mitigate the pollution at its source and protect the environment and public health.

BMA Environment Department director Chatree Wattanakhajorn said his agency has issued a ban on outdoor burning, was monitoring pollution-control measures at all construction sites, and was constantly cleaning the roads.


SUGGESTIONS TO IMPROVE BANGKOK’S AIR QUALITY

The Pollution Control Department has introduced measures to improve its system for measuring air quality, but Greenpeace Thailand country director Tara Buakamsri said there is still room for improvement to ensure safe air. Here are his suggestions.

1 Update safe-air standards in line with World Health Organisation recommendations.

2 Set air pollution emission standard for power plant chimneys.

3 Promote the use of clean, renewable fuels in the transportation sector.

4 Improve public transit with broader access and more extensive coverage.

5 Encourage energy efficiency.

6 Give people incentives to walk, ride bicycles and switch to electric vehicles.

7 Provide easy public access to the pollution monitoring system.

8 Add more urban green space as much as possible.

Source: Greenpeace

STAY SAFE DURING SMOG SEASON

With air pollution in the capital continuing to intensify, residents should follow this checklist to safeguard their health.

- Stay indoors as much as possible – especially the elderly, children and people already ailing.

- Regularly monitor the air pollution level.

- Wear an N95 face mask while outside – it filters out PM2.5.

- Keep doors and windows closed at all times.

- Change your clothes and take a shower immediately on returning home from outside.

- Drink lots of water.

Story and photos: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/ ... l/30362174


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