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




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


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  1. Avatar


    Thursday, March 4, 2021 at 12:51 pm

    Uh oh. Asking people (farang) to wear a mask an upset their freedom? 555

  2. Avatar

    Fred glue

    Thursday, March 4, 2021 at 1:52 pm

    Why do Faflungs go there, never been never will…

  3. Avatar


    Thursday, March 4, 2021 at 4:11 pm

    I am a keen follower of thaigernews and read news almost daily here.
    But I must say THIS article is a lot of crap!!
    CM the 3rd most air-polluted city in the world?? What a lot of bs!
    I can name at least 15 cities in the world with worse air quality then CM! And that can be “googled”.
    Anyone who is thinking of visiting CM, please do not get put off by this article!! Its a wonderful place. Yes polluted, but certainly not as bad as described here!!

  4. Avatar


    Thursday, March 4, 2021 at 6:14 pm

    They’ve pretty much stopped. I find it hard to believe Chiang mai will ever recover. Covid killed it, and qir pollution is just one now reason people will leave. For get going.

  5. Avatar


    Friday, March 5, 2021 at 12:07 am

    Asia’s solution to everything: Wear a mask!

  6. Avatar


    Friday, March 5, 2021 at 1:03 am

    This problem exists for many years already. I can remember when I was going to Chiang Mai in the winter for the first time 3 years ago.

    During the smokey season at some days there were PM 2.5 levels of over 500. You could only see 20 meters, because there was smoke everywhere. I don’t understand why Thai people accept this and don’t make the government responsible. I think this problem exists for many years already even before I came to live in Chiang Mai.

    In Germany there would be mass protests if the air quality would be as bad as in Thailand. You might think okay it is easy to solve the problem. Get some drones to check for forest fires, make police patrols to catch people that start forest fires and that burn off crop and punish people severely that do these kinds of things.

    When you burn off your field as a farmer and you give lung cancer to everyone nothing happens, but when you talk about problems and criticize the government for being stupid they give you 3-15 years of prison. When I was going to make a visa run back then I could see burned fields everywhere along the roadside. Why can’t you find the land owners and make them responsible?

    Do you want to know the solution of Chiang Mai administration? They put a fire truck at Tha Phae gate and sprayed water in the air to “clean” the air. I mean come on how stupid can you be? I know why I don’t live in Thailand anymore.

  7. Avatar

    Mel Burn

    Friday, March 5, 2021 at 5:17 am

    Air pollution is the reason that I would not go to Thailand even if the borders are open. Have to find some other place unfortunately.

  8. Avatar

    where you go!?

    Friday, March 5, 2021 at 10:20 am

    you are so politically correct that i wanna puke , feel free to bash it all out not like a rat.
    sure you should never go to thailand ever again..

  9. Avatar


    Friday, March 5, 2021 at 12:00 pm

    :They must have measured the air pollution levels in rice field burning season, most of the time it’s nowhere near the 3rd worst in the world

  10. Avatar


    Friday, March 5, 2021 at 1:44 pm

    This is a job for ASEAN

  11. Avatar

    Issan John

    Friday, March 5, 2021 at 2:29 pm

    “But I must say THIS article is a lot of crap!!
    CM the 3rd most air-polluted city in the world?? What a lot of bs!”

    Sorry, Junior, but the “crap” is all yours.

    While CM is now (at time of writing) at 17th, it was in 3rd place yesterday at the time and date stated in the original article. Maybe it would have been an idea to check first …?

  12. Avatar


    Friday, March 5, 2021 at 2:45 pm

    I considered living in Chiang Mai for a while but the pollution kills it for me. In the past, about a decade ago,I have always been told that it is much cooler in the summer but when I was there a number of times in recent years it was still really hot in the season.

  13. Avatar


    Friday, March 5, 2021 at 6:00 pm

    @Mel Burn

    Air quality is pretty good in southern Thailand.

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Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

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