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Air pollution in Bangkok expected to get worse due to “cold spell”

The Thaiger

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Air pollution in Bangkok expected to get worse due to “cold spell” | The Thaiger

Air pollution in Bangkok is expected to get worse over the next few days as pollutants are getting trapped in the atmosphere thanks to a recent cold spell and a lack of wind to blow the haze away from the city. In response to the unhealthy air pollution, The PM’s Office permanent secretary says he has asked several ministries to step up efforts in combatting the PM2.5 micron ‘dust’ particulate that has blanketed the city.

He says that the issue has been contained so far due to Covid-19 measures which have made many people work from home.

“But vehicle exhaust fumes, construction sites and burning garbage in open areas is not helping.”

“To add to the problem, the cold spell is creating an “inversion layer” as meteorologists call it, which stops air below it from rising and trapping pollutants.”

As usual, Bangkok officials are looking to some of the smaller, localised traffic issues to blame, although the annual “smoke from the north” problem is the key and overriding issue regarding Bangkok’s smog problem months. The local traffic pollutants, whilst ever-present, don’t cause the skyline smog and haze for the rest of the year.

And when the Thais refer to a “cold spell” it usually means the ambient temperature has dropped to the low 20s. In other parts of the world that would be considered a heat wave!

The secretary says police and other officials are being asked to curb traffic build-ups at intersections as some had seen a sharp increase in dust pollution. Motorists are also being advised to take their cars for routine engine check-ups but some owners are refusing, saying their cars are new and not releasing black smoke. Public transportation vehicles are also being checked for emissions that could further add to the pollution issue in the country’s capital.

Meanwhile, PM Prayut has recently asked people to avoid large gatherings out of what he says is “concern” for their health after the recent cold spell from China hit the nation. But, more particularly, he pointed out political gatherings and has also asked everyone to adhere to social distancing and mask wearing to help curb the recent outbreak of Covid-19 that has swept the country in the past couple of months.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Chon Buri

Driver says thick smog led to 3-vehicle pileup in Chon Buri

Caitlin Ashworth

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Driver says thick smog led to 3-vehicle pileup in Chon Buri | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Siamrath

A driver in a serious 3-vehicle pileup in Chon Buri blames the thick smog for the accident, saying it limited visibility. Two people were injured in the accident, including a 30 year old man who was stuck inside his sedan and rescuers used the “jaws of life” hydraulic tool to remove him from the vehicle.

Another 39 year old man was found lying on the road and his 150cc motorcycle was nearly. Police say he had minor injuries. A 31 year old trailer truck driver told police that the haze from the air pollution made it hard to see.

“I was about to make a U-turn and I was quite positive that there were no vehicles behind me but it was difficult to see due to the low visibility in the air.”

A car driving at a high speed crashed into the truck as the driver was preparing to make a U-turn. The motorcyclist then crashed into the car.

Chon Buri’s air quality has reached “unhealthy” levels over the past week with the amount of the ultra-fine dust pollutant PM2.5 exceeding limits classified as safe, according to IQAir.

SOURCE: Pattaya News

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Thailand

Air pollution hits unsafe levels in 19 provinces

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Air pollution hits unsafe levels in 19 provinces | The Thaiger

Air pollution hit “unsafe” levels in 19 provinces across Thailand this morning with levels of the ultra-fine dust PM 2.5 exceeding the official safety limit 50 micrograms per cubic metre, according to the Pollution Control Department.

Those areas include: Bangkok, Nakhon Pathom, Samut Prakan, Samut Sakhon, Lampang, Sukhothai, Phitsanulok, Kamphaeng Phet, Pichit, Nakhon Sawan, Uthai Thani, Lopburi, Saraburi, Suphan Buri, Kanchanaburi, Chachoengsao, Ratchaburi, Chon Buri, and Rayong.

The department also reported PM2.5 levels in different regions across the country…

  • North: 17 to 68 μg/m3
  • Northeast: 16 to 38 μg/m3.
  • Central region and West: 42 to 62 μg/m3
  • East: 47 to 65 μg/m3.
  • South: 11 to 29 μg/m3.
  • Bangkok and its vicinity: 39 to 80 μg/m3

Poor air quality can be harmful to the elders, children, and patients with respiratory diseases, so they are recommended to monitor their health conditions and avoid outdoor activities as much as possible.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Thailand

600 factories ordered to monitor emissions to help reduce air pollution

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600 factories ordered to monitor emissions to help reduce air pollution | The Thaiger
PHOTO: CNN Newsource

To reduce air pollution, hundreds of factories across Thailand are ordered to monitor their emissions. Air quality in Bangkok has reached unhealthy to even hazardous levels in recent weeks due to the excessive levels of the ultra-fine dust PM2.5, according to IQ Air.

Under the new regulations set by the Industry Ministry, factories that are most likely to emit PM2.5 dust are ordered to install continuous emission monitoring systems, or CEMS, that will closely monitor emissions 24/7. Around 600 factories, mostly steel and stone mills as well as factories in petroleum industries, are under the order. The factories that don’t properly monitor their gas emissions fine of up to 200,000 baht.

Currently, 74 factories in Samut Sakhon, Samut Prakan, and Chonburi as well as 5 in the industrial estates in Eastern Thailand already have the CEMS. The government is expected to have more factories installed with the CEMS to better cope with the air pollution problem.

Air quality in most parts of Bangkok is expected to drop on Monday because the changing wind patterns this week will likely trap dust particles over the city.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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