Air pollutant PM2.5 rises to unhealthy levels in Bangkok

PHOTO: Unsplash: Nick Van den Berg

Start wearing a N95 face mask when walking in Bangkok, the air pollutant PM2.5 is at unhealthy levels. 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.


Environment News

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Caitlin Ashworth

Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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