Bangkok breathes uneasy: PM2.5 dust levels reach ‘unhealthy’ zones

Picture courtesy of ASEAN Now.

Bangkok, alongside other provinces, is grappling with unsettling levels of ultra-fine dust, or PM2.5. The quality of air in several areas has been categorised as either moderate or in the unhealthy spectrum.

People, especially those living with chronic illnesses, have been cautioned by the Public Health Ministry to review the air quality before stepping out or participating in outdoor activities.

Opas Karnkawinpong, the Permanent Secretary for Public Health, today, October 19, shared that PM2.5 dust levels usually experience a surge towards the end and beginning of each year. The ministry has been closely monitoring the situation to provide appropriate health warnings.

The Department of Pollution Control’s air quality monitoring website indicates that the PM2.5 levels in some provinces, notably Nakhon Phanom, Mukdahan, Yasothon, Nong Khai and Ubon Ratchathani located in the Northeast, currently fall under the moderate (yellow) or unhealthy (orange) category.

In Bangkok, concerning levels were observed in various areas such as Kanchanaphisek Road in Bang Khun Thian district, Din Daeng Road in Din Daeng district, Khlong Kum area in Bueng Kum district, Charan Sanitwong Road in Bang Phlat district, Thung Wat Don area in Sathon district, and Charoen Nakhon Road in Khlong San district, reported Bangkok Post.

Opas recommends that individuals consult the Air4Thai application or visit the Department of Pollution Control’s website at to gauge the PM2.5 levels before venturing outdoors. Another resource is the website for assessing air quality levels.

  1. Blue (very good): No health risk.
  2. Green (moderate): No health risk.
  3. Yellow (unhealthy): People with respiratory disorders should avoid outdoor exercise, while children and the elderly should limit outdoor time.
  4. Orange (very unhealthy): People with respiratory tract disorders should avoid outdoor activities. Children and the elderly should restrict outdoor time.
  5. Red (hazardous): Outdoor exercise should be avoided, and individuals with respiratory tract disorders should stay indoors.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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