Chiang Mai ranks fourth in global air pollution as PM2.5 soars

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Chiang Mai, along with several northern provinces of Thailand, today woke up to alarmingly high levels of PM2.5, ranking fourth in global air pollution. This report, provided by the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA), highlighted that 11 provinces were exposed to seriously harmful red-coded levels of particulate matter 2.5 micrometres or less in diameter (PM2.5).

The measured pollution ranged between 82.1 and 158.8 microgrammes per cubic metre of air in the past 24 hours. It’s worth noting that this far exceeds the safe limit, which is set at 37.5 µg/m3.

Chiang Rai topped the list with a PM2.5 concentration of 158.8, followed closely by Chiang Mai at 141.9, Lamphun at 136.4, Phayao at 131.6, Mae Hong Son at 128.2, Lampang at 118.6, Phrae at 102.3, Nan at 94.9, Sukhothai at 87.8, Uttaradit at 85.5 and Tak at 82.1. All these provinces are located in the north of the country.

Furthermore, initial signs of unsafe orange-coded PM2.5 levels were identified in 46 other provinces, primarily in the northeast and the Central Plains, with readings ranging from 38.2 to 67.6 µg/m3.

These provinces were, listed in decreasing order of pollution concentration: Loei, Kamphaeng Phet, Phitsanulok, Phetchabun, Chaiyaphum, Phichit, Nakhon Sawan, Khon Kaen, Uthai Thani, Bangkok, Maha Sarakham, Kanchanaburi, Mukdahan, Kalasin, Roi Et, Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi, Nong Bua Lam Phu, Chai Nat, Nakhon Ratchasima, Ubon Ratchathani, Ratchaburi, Si Sa Ket, Amnat Charoen, Yasothon, Samut Prakan, Lop Buri, Udon Thani, Nong Khai, Phetchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Nakhon Pathom, Suphan Buri, Samut Sakhon, Ayutthaya, Nakhon Nayok, Sing Buri, Surin, Bueng Kan, Buri Ram, Samut Songkhram, Ang Thong, Saraburi, Prachin Buri, Sakon Nakhon, and Nakhon Phanom.

In contrast, provinces located in the east and the south reported moderate and good air quality. The southern provinces Phuket and Phangnga recorded the best air quality, with PM2.5 readings of 15.3µg/m³ and 15.7µg/m³, respectively.

Swiss air quality technology company, IQAir, confirmed the severity of the situation by ranking Chiang Mai as the city with the fourth worst air pollution globally on Monday morning, following Delhi, Lahore, and Kathmandu. This implies a concerning situation that demands immediate attention and action to combat the escalating air pollution levels, reported Bangkok Post.

Environment NewsThailand News

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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