Wednesday, April 24, 2024
HomethailandgeneralPM2.5 exceeds safe levels

PM2.5 exceeds safe levels

Air pollution in all 50 districts of Bangkok exceeded what is considered safe on Saturday, with Bangkok Yai district the worst, according to the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (Gistda).

A total of 14 districts were classified as “unhealthy”, with Gistda data obtained at 8am showing readings above 75 microgrammes per cubic metre (μg/m3). The reading in Bangkok Yai was 88.4, followed by Thon Buri, Phra Khanong, Don Muang and Lak Si. Any reading above 35 μg/m3 is considered unsafe.

Elswehere, PM2.5 levels in 18 provinces besides Bangkok exceeded the safe threshold on Saturday, said the Pollution Control Department.

They were: Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi, Nakhon Pathom, Samut Sakorn, Samut Prakarn, Phitsanulok, Uthai Thani, Sing Buri, Lop Buri, Saraburi, Ang Thong, Suphan Buri, Ayutthaya, Ratchaburi, Samut Songkhram, Nong Khai, Kalasin, and Nakhon Ratchasima.

Only the southern region had clear skies, with PM2.5 levels between 9.1 and 18.1 μg/m3. Readings in Bangkok and its neighbouring provinces ranged from 27.9 to 77.9, according to data from the department’s Centre for Air Pollution Mitigation (CAPM).

The Thai Meteorological Department said the high levels of fine dust particles resulted from still air.

Pollution tends to worsen in the winter months because of crop burning. The cabinet earlier this month approved incentives worth 8 billion baht for sugarcane farmers who agree to cut fresh sugarcane without burning the residue.

Air pollution is expected to lessen from Sunday until Dec 23 as a cold air mass has entered Thailand and the South China Sea, said weather forecasters.

The mass will cover the upper part of the country and lead to cooler temperatures in some areas, especially the northeastern region, leading to drops of 1 to 3 degrees Celsius.

The southern region, meanwhile, will experience more downpours over the same period. The Meteorological Department warns fishermen of strong winds and high waves up to 2 metres in the lower parts of the Gulf of Thailand.

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