Record PM 2.5 dust levels hit Thailand with Bangkok and Samut Songkhram worst affected

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Today saw the highest PM 2.5 dust levels this year in Thailand, with Samut Songkhram and Bangkok exceeding all other areas. The Geoinformatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA), in collaboration with the National Research Office, the Pollution Control Department, Kasetsart University, and Chiang Mai University, revealed that 38 provinces exceeded standard PM 2.5 dust levels, impacting health.

The PM 2.5 dust report was provided through the Check Dust application, showing hourly updates from satellite data. The standard dust value should not exceed 37.5 micrograms per cubic metre (μg/m3). The three provinces with the highest dust levels, posing a health risk, were: Samut Songkhram with 112.3 μg/m3, Samut Sakhon with 92.7 μg/m3, and Nakhon Pathom with 76.7 μg/m3.

In addition to these, 38 other provinces exceeded standard dust levels, beginning to impact health. The top five included Ratchaburi (71.4 μg/m3), Ang Thong (70.7 μg/m3), Chai Nat (70.4 μg/m3), Sing Buri (67.1 μg/m3) and Nonthaburi (64.0 μg/m3). Bangkok found PM2.5 dust levels in the orange zone across all districts, with the highest three being Don Mueang (70 μg/m3), Lak Si (69.6 μg/m3), and Nong Khaem (62.3 μg/m3).

The Check Dust application also forecasted PM 2.5 dust levels for the next three hours, predicting many areas would remain in the orange zone impacting health. GISTDA yesterday, January 7, reported 217 hotspots nationwide, primarily in agricultural areas (97 spots), followed by the provincial administration organisation area (40 spots), national forest reserves (39 spots), communities and others (28 spots), highway areas (eight spots) and conservation forests (five spots).

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The provinces with the highest number of hotspots were Lopburi (30 spots), Khon Kaen (17 spots) and Chonburi (12 spots). Neighbouring countries with the most hotspots were Cambodia (812 spots), Myanmar (391 spots), Laos (99 spots) and Vietnam (81 spots), reported Khao Sod.

The public is advised to wear masks at all times when outdoors to prevent potential respiratory diseases. PM2.5 data can be tracked hourly via the Check Dust application.

In related news, Bangkok enters dust season; air quality dips, officials urge measures against agricultural burning, public reports.

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Nattapong Westwood

Nattapong Westwood is a Bangkok-born writer who is half Thai and half Aussie. He studied in an international school in Bangkok and then pursued journalism studies in Melbourne. Nattapong began his career as a freelance writer before joining Thaiger. His passion for news writing fuels his dedication to the craft, as he consistently strives to deliver engaging content to his audience.

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