11 July 2024

People living in Bangkok and surrounding areas are advised to brace for a new round of health-threatening low air quality during the rest of October due to an anticipated increase in PM2.5 dust particles in the atmosphere as less rainfall is forecast, according to the Meteorological Department.

In Bangkok today (Wednesday), the Department of Pollution Control reported that the level of PM2.5 dust particulate in Bangkok and its peripherals has been rising since the morning and will remain high for the rest of the day due to lack of wind, resulting in poor air circulation and dust accumulation.

Air quality readings at 7am today showed the levels of PM2.5 dust particulate ranging from 31-69 microns (micrograms/cubic metre) at 15 monitoring stations, including Kanchanapisek Road in Bang Khun Thian district, along Din Daeng road in Din Daeng district, the districts of Bung Gum, Bang Phlad, Khlong San, Bang Khun Thian, Wang Thong Lang, Pathumwan, Sathorn, Bang Khor Laem, Phasi Chaoren, Bang Sue, Lak Si and Phra Pradaeng and Muang districts of Samut Prakan province.

Children, pregnant women, the elderly and unwell are warned to avoid outdoor activities and, if it is necessary for them to go out, they should wear face masks as a precautionary measure.

Agencies concerned with air quality, such as the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, the Pollution Control Department and the transport, public health and industry ministries, have been closely monitoring the dust and will implement their pre-prepared plans to cope with it.

According to the Airvisual website today, Bangkok ranks as the world’s 13th for excessive PM2.5 dust particulate above international standard levels in almost all districts of the city and its peripherals, including Nonthaburi, Samut Sakhon and Samut Prakan.

In Thailand, the safe level for PM2.5 dust particles in the atmosphere is under 50 microns.  However, the safe level set by the World Health Organization is 25 microns.

Associate Professor Sirima Panyamethikul, of the Faculty of Engineering of Chulalongkorn University, told Thai PBS that the faculty plans to install more monitoring devices in all public parks in Bangkok so the people can be warned 2-3 days in advance of poor air quality.