Connect with us

Air Pollution

Big farm companies causing the smoke problems in the north

Avatar

Published

 on 

by Chularat Saengpassa, Sakaorat Sirima

Experts see little changing, even after Prayut’s visit to Chiang Mai today, and blame the government’s policy to push corn cultivation. The PM is in Chiang Mai today speaking to provincial governors.

But eminent medical specialists based in Chiang Mai are warning that the health impacts from prolonged exposure to smog are real and urgent tangible solutions are necessary.

Prof Dr Chaicharn Pothirat, a medical specialist in lung diseases at the CMU Faculty of Medicine, power the question…“Will the PM engage a ‘giant firm’ in addressing the problem?”

According to him, corn plantations are now the major cause of air pollution. Many corn farmers have cleared unwanted weeds from their plantations using fire to ease the work of harvesting by hand or expensive machinery.

“And a big firm buys corn from these farmers. This firm should show responsibility,” Chaicharn said.

The medical lecturer lamented that Prayut’s visit to Chiang Mai would not really help ease the smog.

“He will spend just a few hours here. So, I think it’s more like a PR stunt.”

Chaicharn says the government policy to encourage farmers to grow corn after the rice season might have also contributed to the current serious smog crisis. At present, there are 7 million rai of corn plantations in the country. The North is the biggest grower, accounting for 4.5 million rai of corn fields. Chaicharn’s colleague, Dr Rungsrit Kanjanavanit, who sits on the Chiang Mai working panel on fighting air pollution, said he had put forward four demands to the PM.

“Don’t just say you have not seen any health impacts from the dust yet. Health problems associated with air pollution will become visible in the long run, the same way smokers will feel the adverse impacts from their cigarettes,” Rungsrit said.

Smog is associated with respiratory disorders, heart diseases, skin irritation and more. Chiang Mai has been struggling with heavy air pollution for a few months already.

The amount of PM2.5 – particulate matter no more than 2.5 millimetres in diameter – in the province has been usually above safe limits. Despite loud complaints every day by people who know about the smog’s dangerous impact, an end to the problem is not yet in sight.

At present, agricultural fires are identified as the main cause of smog. Rungsrit said the Chiang Mai governor should have made better preparations because he must have known from the very beginning that hotspots caused air pollution every year.

“Don’t just talk, otherwise the problem will recur.”

Chiang Mai is not the only northern province suffering under the smog crisis. Neighbouring provinces are also facing the same predicament. Calls for the Upper North to be declared a smog disaster zone are growing louder now, and the region’s smog-generating forest fires soared to 3,088 hotspots.

Deputy National Police commissioner Pol General Srivara Ransibrahmanakul said police had already arrested 230 suspects for setting fires in forests.Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Mae Hong Son yesterday continued their calls for urgent donations of N95-grade face masks for public distribution.

Big farm companies causing the smoke problems in the north | News by Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation

 

Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

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

Thailand's largest online portal for news and information.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Best of27 mins ago

Phuket’s 5 most family-friendly resorts

Transport57 mins ago

Transport Company announces bus services are suspended until August 31

Thailand3 hours ago

Thailand News Today | 29 provinces now on curfew, booze ban in Phuket

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Insurgency4 hours ago

Volunteer ranger killed in grenade attack by suspected insurgents

Best of4 hours ago

Top 5 Spas in Koh Samui

Thailand4 hours ago

Hemp ice cream hits the Thai market

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Chon Buri5 hours ago

Chon Buri sets local order, restaurants in malls to only offer food for delivery

Thailand5 hours ago

Samut Prakan man dies in fire, possibly self-inflicted

Thailand6 hours ago

Royal Thai Police say bitterleaf can’t cure Covid

Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 hours ago

Tuesday Covid Update: 18,901 new cases, provincial totals

Thailand6 hours ago

Air Asia technician arrested for allegedly stealing electronics

Pattaya7 hours ago

“Pattaya Move On” reopening likely to be postponed as Covid cases surge

Thailand7 hours ago

3 metre long python caught near family’s house in Phuket

Thailand8 hours ago

Government says not to buy Favipiravir/Avigan online, says it might be fake

Phuket8 hours ago

Phuket bans alcohol sales at restaurants, issues order amid rise of Covid cases

Thailand5 months ago

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

Tourism5 months ago

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

Phuket5 months ago

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

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

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

Tourism5 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Trending