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Air Pollution

The smog returns to Bangkok




The air pollutant PM2.5 is at unhealthy levels in and around Bangkok. 34 areas in the city and in surrounding provinces have levels of PM2.5 exceeding the safety standard, according to an air quality report by the Department of Pollution Control.

The air pollutant PM2.5 is fine particulate matter less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter. At high levels, the pollutant can be harmful to people’s health.

Due to its small size, PM2.5 can get deep into the respiratory tract and lungs. It can also potentially enter the bloodstream. The Department of Pollution Control reported today that 34 areas in Bangkok and surrounding provinces have PM2.5 levels that exceed 50 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3). Levels over 50 µg/m3 are considered unhealthy.

Under the US Air Quality Index, which measures the concentration of air pollutants, Bangkok air is at “unhealthy levels for sensitive groups.”

An AQI at 0 to 50 is considered safe, while 300 and up is considered dangerous…

• 0-50: Good

• 51-100: Moderate

• 101-150:Unhealthy for sensitive groups

• 151-200: Unhealthy

• 201-300: Very unhealthy

• 301-500: Hazardous

Today, Bangkok ranked 23 in the most polluted cities in the world in a list by IQ Air with an AQI of 121 and a PM2.5 level of 43.6 µg/m3. The rankings by IQ Air are constantly changing. Bangkok’s air quality is forecasted to reach “unhealthy” levels this weekend with an ASQ of 156 to 164.

To protect yourself from air pollution, IQ Air recommends wearing a air pollution protection face mask, reducing outdoor exercise, closing windows to avoid dirty outdoor air and running an air purifier.


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  1. Avatar

    James S

    Monday, December 14, 2020 at 10:19 am

    The air quality anywhere north of Chumphon is just horrific. Bangkok was 225 AQI this morning which is completely toxic. Almost all of it is attributable to crop burning. This is an entirely avoidable annual disaster which is costing billions in lost tourism, lost productivity, lost reputation, poorer soil quality. Its an incredibly short sighted and greed driven agenda which is destroying the country.

    • Avatar


      Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 11:07 am

      Normally its illegal to buy burnt sugarcane, but somehow farmers can still sell it…whoever is allowing this should be prosecuted. Literally suffocating millions of people for money.

  2. Avatar


    Monday, December 14, 2020 at 10:58 am

    Enforce the laws that ban burning of fields. DONE

    • Avatar


      Monday, December 14, 2020 at 4:15 pm

      Agree. It’s strange the burning fields aren’t mentioned in the article. An uninformed reader might wonder why the levels are so high. In a lot of cities worldwide they are actually down. The reason of course are less travel movements due to covid-19.

  3. Avatar


    Monday, December 14, 2020 at 1:31 pm

    Its crop burning pollution causing massive damage to property, health and thailands reputation. Please stop it.

  4. Avatar


    Thursday, December 17, 2020 at 1:07 pm

    Not to mention the carbon footprint. I was under the impression countries was reducing it, apart from China and India and the usa.

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