Thick haze blankets Bangkok as air pollution hits unhealthy levels
BANGKOK – A thick haze blanketed the Thai capital on Wednesday as the city’s air pollution reached an unhealthy level.
Seventy air-quality monitoring stations reported unsafe levels of air pollution in Bangkok as of 7am on Wednesday, with the number rising to 80 by noon, the Bangkok Air Quality center said.
Four stations detected “red” levels of PM2.5.
Bangkok governor Chadchart Sittipunt said unsafe levels of dust are expected to last until Friday.
This is due to stagnant air, and agricultural burning and forest fires.
As of 6pm on Wednesday, Bangkok’s Air Quality Index (AQI) reading was recorded at 166 on IQAir, a technology partner of the UN Environmental Program.
AQI readings of above 100 are considered unhealthy.
Levels that cross 200 are deemed to be very unhealthy, while those beyond 300 are considered hazardous.
PM2.5 refers to fine particles of dust in the air. It can penetrate deep into the lungs and cause premature death from lung and heart conditions, especially among the elderly and those with health complications.
Any level of PM2.5 above 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air (µg/m3) is unsafe. A “red” level refers to PM2.5 above 90 µg/m3.
Mr Chadchart has advised people to wear face masks when outdoors, and to try to avoid outdoor activities.
He has also encouraged people to work from home and use public transport, according to the Public Relations Office of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA).