12 July 2024

Smog problem in and around Bangkok appears to be getting out of control, with 39 areas being affected by excessive PM2.5 dust particles, especially in areas along Rama II road in Muang district of Samut Sakhon where the level of PM2.5 particulate matter in the air shot up to 141 microns this morning even when traffic was still moderate.

But there is more bad news.  The Pollution Control Department said today that the smog problem is likely to get worse until February 4.

According to the PCD’s air pollution monitor readings at 7 am today, 23 areas along the main roads in Bangkok and it peripherals were found to have excessive amount of PM2.5 dust particles – more than yesterday’s in all areas.

Besides Rama II roadsides in Samut Sakhon’s Muang district where 141 microns of PM2.5 dust particles were measured, worsening smog problem was found this morning in areas along Kanchanapisek road in Bang Khun Thian district with 90 microns, Rama III-Charoen Krung roads in Bang Khor Laem district with 89 microns and areas along Pahonyothin road in Bang Khen district with 87 microns.

The condition in 16 areas farther away from main roads was found to be worse than it was yesterday.  The amount of PM2.5 dust particles in these areas were measured to range from 78 to 85 microns against the 50-micron standard level.

The smog condition in all the affected areas is expected to get worse in the afternoon with more traffic and car emissions compounded by stale air.

Bangkok Governor Aswin Kwanmuang today declared Bangkok a so-called “disturbance control zone” under which cars that use diesel engines, burning of trash and other vegetation in the open and construction activities are targeted for strict checkings.

Those who burn garbage or other vegetation such as dried rice stalks in the open, diesel-engine cars that belch excessive smoke and contractors who cause dust pollution at their construction sites will face a jail term up to three years and/or a maximum fine to 25,000 baht.