Bangkok Residents Told to Stay Inside as Pollution Reaches Dangerous Levels

Ban on dirty household fire fuels to tackle air pollution

Ban on dirty household fire fuels to tackle air pollution

The PCD was also in talks with the Royal Rainmaking and Agricultural Aviation Department about creating rain over the urban area.

Reasons for the persistent smog include combustion exhaust from traffic-strewn roads, the burning of fields by farmers outside the city, and pollutants from factories.

As Thais woke up on Monday morning to another day of murky air blanketing its bustling construction-filled capital, environment group Greenpeace said Bangkok was now the 10th most polluted in the world, rivalling some cities in China. Public discontent has surfaced on Thai social media, with pollution-related hashtags trending.

Air Visual, an independent online air quality index (AQI) monitor, pegged Bangkok at "unhealthy" levels measuring 156 AQI on Monday - though numbers have often crept higher in the last two months.

As of 6pm on Monday, various areas of Bangkok and its vicinity are suffering a huge volume of PM2.5 pollution particles that exceeds the Thai safety limit of 50 microgrammes per cubic metre (µg/m³), according to the Pollution Control Department.

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The government said Britain would become the first major economy to adopt air quality goals based on World Health Organization recommendations regarding people's exposure to particulate matter.

Readings taken by 10 air quality stations around Bangkok showed PM2.5 levels in the city ranged between 70 and 100 µg/m³, the Bangkok Post reported. And Natural England teams are already, through the Catchment Sensitive Farming programme, working on the ground providing essential advice and guidance to farmers to tackle pollution to water, land and the air.

Despite the poor visibility and hazardous level of air quality, many Bangkokians were seen going about their daily activities as normal, many of them without facemasks.

"Air pollution is really a silent killer and many Thais underestimate the danger to their health, so not many people protect themselves by wearing a face mask or installing air purifiers at home", Prof Witsanu said. Long exposure can cause respiratory diseases, including lung cancer, heart disease and stroke, he said.

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