Connect with us

Air Pollution

Air pollution reaches “unhealthy” levels in Thailand’s north and northeast

The Thaiger

Published 

 on 

Air pollution reaches “unhealthy” levels in Thailand’s north and northeast | The Thaiger

18 provinces in Thailand’s north and northeast are being hit by a wave of smoke and air pollution as the burning season kicks in for the country’s agricultural sector. The next 2 months are the peak of the burning off season for agricultural waste as farmers prepare their land for the next crops of corn, rice and sugar and use the fires to aid the harvest of some of their crops.

With sugar cane plantations, for example, farmers choose to burn the leaves off the plant, exposing the stalks, before harvesting the profit-making stalks, saving time and money. There are mechanical ways to achieve the same result but the farmers, pushed to slender profit margins by the multinational food companies, are unable to invest and amortise the additional costs.

The levels of PM 25 micron particulate, a measure of the smoke and haze, has been at “unhealthy” levels in Chiang Rai, Phrae, Sukhothai, Phitsanulok, Tak, Phetchabun, Phayao, Nan, Chiang Mai, Lampang, Khon Kaen, Roi Et, Chaiyaphum, Ubon Ratchathani, Saraburi, Nong Khai, Nakhon Phanom and Nakhon Ratchasima.

The Pollution Control Department are now openly admitting that the major cause of the seasonal smoke is “open burning by farmers who are preparing their land”, according to the Bangkok Post. On Monday the Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan issued orders to prevent farmers from starting the plantation fires. You can check the result of his orders in the fire map below.

Air pollution reaches

iqair.com measures the average level of PM2.5 dust in the North at between 35-85 micrograms per cubic metre (μg/m³) yesterday, considered “unhealthy”. In the Northeast, the levels ranged between 40-99μg/m³.

The Thai Pollution Control Department considers PM2.5 readings below 50μg/m³ as “safe” but the Thai standard is twice as high as what is considered safe by the World Health Organisation.

firms.modaps, the NASA satellite fire tracking service, shows the number of fires currently alight around Thailand and the concentrations in the north and north east. The fires in northern Cambodia and north east Myanmar are also contributing to the Thailand’s smog and haze, depending on which way the winds are blowing. During this time of the year, the winds are predominantly north east and light across much of Thailand. The firms.modaps feed is live, registering the fires alight at the time the screen capture was taken.

Air pollution reaches

Bangkok starts off Wednesday with relatively better air quality than the past few weeks.

Air pollution reaches

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Issan John

    Wednesday, January 27, 2021 at 4:28 pm

    Most “farmers” in Thailand DO NOT “choose to burn the leaves off the plant, exposing the stalks, before harvesting the profit-making stalks, saving time and money.”

    This is the OLD way of harvesting, still practiced in Cambodia for example, but NOT as a general rule in Thailand any more.

    All you need to do to see very clear, absolutely irrefutable evidence of this is to look at the screenshot in the article and to compare the fires in Cambodia (which produces only 600,000 tonnes of sugar cane) with the fires in Thailand (which produces over 12 million tonnes of sugar cane).

    Thailand very clearly has a small fraction of the fires, but produces twenty times as much sugar cane.

    The government also pays farmers a bonus of seven baht per tonne for cane sold to the processing factories that is NOT burnt, and the factories in turn also pay more for unburnt cane (as much as 25% more).

    Farmers also have to pay the cutters more to cut burnt cane than unburnt as it is far more unpleasant to cut.

    With few exceptions, the only cane which is burnt BEFORE harvesting is cane which is due to re-planted, which happens every four years, so around a quarter of the fields. The rest of the burning, so some 75% of it, is burning the leaves AFTER the cane has been harvested.

    As the Bangkok Post correctly said: “Concentrations of PM2.5 dust have risen across 18 provinces in the North and Northeast, as farmers begin to set fire to their agricultural waste to prepare for next season’s crops, the Pollution Control Department said yesterday.”

    The farmers are burning “agricultural waste” (the cut leaves) AFTER harvesting “to prepare for next season’s crops”, NOT before.

    The screenshot in the article could hardly be clearer evidence.

    • Avatar

      Patrick

      Wednesday, January 27, 2021 at 6:58 pm

      Weird, I saw them recently burn the sugar cane before harvest. Very fierce fire and smoke seen from kilometers away spreading steady in the North East.

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        Wednesday, January 27, 2021 at 9:16 pm

        What part of “With few exceptions, the only cane which is burnt BEFORE harvesting is cane which is due to be re-planted, which happens every four years, so around a quarter of the fields” isn’t clear, Patrick?

        … and maybe you have some other explanation for the fact that Thailand produces twenty times as much sugar cane as Cambodia but, according to the screenshot in the article and the NASA site, clearly only has a very small fraction of the fires?

        … or maybe not …

        • Avatar

          Joe

          Wednesday, February 24, 2021 at 7:35 pm

          With an easterly wind direction which is common at this time of the year, the smoke from Cambodia goes to Bangkok.

  2. Avatar

    Lane Narrows

    Wednesday, January 27, 2021 at 8:56 pm

    What difference does it make if the burning is before or after the harvest. The facts are Thai farmers, and residents of local mu bans for that matter, ARE burning. On average, the PM 2.5 levels in Chiang Mai are three to four times what is considered safe by the WHO. Each year the burning season gets longer and the pollution levels worse. Something needs to be done!

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 12:32 am

      Three or four times as much difference, actually, L N, as far as the open field burning goes.

      Have a look at the screenshot in the article. Most of the burning is in Cambodia, far more than Thailand, although it produces a twentieth of the sugar cane.

      Sure, “Something needs to be done!”, but it needs to be the right thing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Chiang Rai. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

If you have story ideas, a restaurant to review, an event to cover or an issue to discuss, contact The Thaiger editorial staff.

Air Pollution

Chiang Mai 3rd most polluted city in world in yesterday’s air quality ratings

Avatar

Published

on

Chiang Mai 3rd most polluted city in world in yesterday’s air quality ratings | The Thaiger

Chiang Mai ranked as the 3rd most polluted city in the world yesterday, according to AirVisual, following Lahor in Pakistan and New Delhi in India. The northern Thai city’s was recorded to have an average PM2.5 dust level higher than 200.

All 4 air quality monitoring stations in the municipal area reported the PM as exceeding the safe level, with the deputy chief of an air pollution command citing some 928 hotspots detected across the nation’s 17 northern provinces.

In Tak province, its PM2.5 and PM10 ratings exceeded the safe level for 4 consecutive days, affecting people’s health and road visibility. Mae Sot district yesterday saw the PM 2.5 and PM10 measured at 114 and 171 µg/m3 with people being advised to avoid all outdoor activities and stay away from areas with high air pollution.

The governor of Tak says the province has initiated measures to prevent forest fires and to prohibit the burning of old crops for 2 months starting from March 1. Those who are caught burning or carrying hunting equipment will be charged by forest patrol officers.

The Department of Health Director-General says tropical storms in the northern part of Thailand would help reduce the PM2.5 in Bangkok, the Central Plains, the East and the lower North over the next few days. But some areas in the north, northeast and central plains may see more pollution due to burning in the country and smoke from neighbouring countries.

The Director advised people to protect themselves by wearing a face mask when going outside and follow air pollution news on the official website of the Department of Pollution Control.

According to IQAir, Chiang Mai’s air quality index is at 176, with the PM2.5 measured at 103.9 µg/m³, sitting at unhealthy levels.

Meanwhile, the PM2.5 air pollution was behind approximately 160,000 deaths in the world’s 5 most populous cities in 2020, according to a Greenpeace Southeast Asia analysis of IQAir data from a live Cost Estimator.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

Continue Reading

Chon Buri

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

Caitlin Ashworth

Published

on

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

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

Continue Reading

Thailand

Air pollution hits unsafe levels in 19 provinces

Avatar

Published

on

By

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

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

Continue Reading
Bike rider killed after crashing motorbike into parked truck in Chon Buri | The Thaiger
Chon Buri7 days ago

Bike rider killed after crashing motorbike into parked truck in Chon Buri

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2 | The Thaiger
Phuket6 days ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Police investigate reports of women’s underwear stolen from Phuket homes | The Thaiger
Phuket7 days ago

Police investigate reports of women’s underwear stolen from Phuket homes

Cannabis could generate 8 billion baht for Thai pharmaceutical industry by 2025, expert says | The Thaiger
Thailand7 days ago

Cannabis could generate 8 billion baht for Thai pharmaceutical industry by 2025, expert says

Japan asks China to stop anal Covid-19 tests after travellers report “psychological distress” | The Thaiger
Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 days ago

Japan asks China to stop anal Covid-19 tests after travellers report “psychological distress”

Covid-19 vaccine registration to begin in May | The Thaiger
Coronavirus (Covid-19)7 days ago

Covid-19 vaccine registration to begin in May

Thai navy sailors rescue adorable cats from ship fire | The Thaiger
South6 days ago

Thai navy sailors rescue adorable cats from ship fire

Vaccine rollout underway in Phuket as province receives 4,000 doses | The Thaiger
Coronavirus (Covid-19)7 days ago

Vaccine rollout underway in Phuket as province receives 4,000 doses

Covid-free Samui, Phangan, Tao offer tourism discounts until end of April | The Thaiger
Tourism6 days ago

Covid-free Samui, Phangan, Tao offer tourism discounts until end of April

Pattaya police raid nightclub suspected of presenting pornographic shows | The Thaiger
Pattaya6 days ago

Pattaya police raid nightclub suspected of presenting pornographic shows

Governor of Samut Sakhon recovering from Covid-19 after more than 40 days on ventilator | The Thaiger
Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 days ago

Governor of Samut Sakhon recovering from Covid-19 after more than 40 days on ventilator

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO | The Thaiger
Tourism5 days ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Thai army medic accused of injecting troops with fake Covid-19 vaccine during UN mission | The Thaiger
Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 days ago

Thai army medic accused of injecting troops with fake Covid-19 vaccine during UN mission

Gunman kills mayoral candidate, injures 4 other municipal candidates at funeral | The Thaiger
Crime6 days ago

Gunman kills mayoral candidate, injures 4 other municipal candidates at funeral

Thailand considering vaccine passport policy in bid to revive international tourism | The Thaiger
Coronavirus (Covid-19)7 days ago

Thailand considering vaccine passport policy in bid to revive international tourism

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4 | The Thaiger
Thailand4 days ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO | The Thaiger
Tourism5 days ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2 | The Thaiger
Phuket6 days ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO | The Thaiger
Tourism2 weeks ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO | The Thaiger
Tourism2 weeks ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Follow The Thaiger by email:

Trending