Thailand is set to adjust its standard safety level of air pollution from June 1, 2023. The adjustment will see the safety level change from 50 microns to 37.5 microns as part of a move to help the Pollution Control Department manage air pollution more efficiently.
Pollution Control Department Director-General, Pinsak Suraswadi, says currently the PCD has implemented its Level 3 plan. The plan deems that the department must seek cooperation from employers by allowing their staff to work from home. It also deems that the department must request that motorists reduce their use of private cars, and instead, seek public transportation if possible.
According to Thai PBS World, the plan also mandates that construction sites reduce activities that push dust into the atmosphere. Furthermore, the plan prohibited burning waste in the open.
Pinsak says that the “Burn Check” application allows provincial administrations to control the burning of farm waste. Chiang Mai administrators are reportedly already using the app. However, other provincial administrators are largely not using the application and are currently being instructed to clamp down on farm waste burning.
Bangkok and its surrounding areas are currently experiencing poor air quality with dangerously high levels of PM2.5 dust in a majority of its areas. The situation is expected to remain until Saturday, which will see a slight improvement in air quality.
Pinsak attributes the worsening air quality in the country’s northern and northeastern regions, as well as Bangkok, to hotspots. Yesterday, 1,200 hotspots were recorded. He says the cross-border smoke from Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar isn’t helping matters.
Bangkok’s governor said the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority (BMA) previously warned the public about the poor air quality. He also said that the government had established a warning system for schools in the nation’s capital.
Currently, the BMA has not suspended classes yet but has instructed schools to ensure students are wearing face masks. He also advised that schools have students avoid outdoor activities.
He then furthered that he would like people to stop burning incense, paper, and candles during worship. But, he says that he cannot force anyone to stop as it is part of their religious freedom.
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