Air quality warning issued for Bangkok

Bangkok residents have been warned of harmful dust levels which have been rising since late last month. The dust is expected to shroud the city for at least another month. Pollution Control Department chief Supat Wangwongwatana told city residents to take a look at the morning sky each day to evaluate the situation. Dust will be worse on a ''foggy day'', he said.

The department reported on its website yesterday that small dust particles in the air in Bang Khunthian, Din Daeng and in Bang Kapi areas have exceeded safe levels.

Din Daeng was the worst-hit area with particulate matter smaller than 10 microns (PM 10) measured at 205.8 microgrammes per cubic metre (ug/m3), almost double the safe standard of 120 ug/m3. . .

Unusual climate patterns had prolonged the problem, he said. Natural Resources and Environment Minister Anongwan Thepsuthin yesterday expressed concern over the dust problem, which is partly caused by exhaust emissions from vehicles. She told the department to dispatch mobile units to inspect air quality in high-risk areas, including congested traffic areas.*
The article notes that the pollution level in Chang Mai yesterday was 144 ug/m3. At one popular tourist destination, the old capital of Ayutthaya, fine particle pollution was at 255 ug/m3 today -- the highest PM 10 score in the whole country. Another tourist resort, Phuket, reported the lowest pollution in the country with a reading of 30 ug/m3 .

The Pollution Control Department website has all these figures, and these are updated daily. It is most useful if you are trying decide whether it's safe to go running.

Thailand Pollution Control Department Website key pages:
- pollution level in Bangkok today
- pollution levels in other cities in Thailand today.
- Bangkok pollution forecast

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* Bangkok Post

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