I changed the topic title from "Air pollution problems in Bangkok" to "Air pollution problems in Thailand." Since the first reports, now the air pollution problems are occurring in areas other than just Bangkok, mainly Khon Kaen and Chiang Mai along with other areas too.
Now there are calls for schools to close in Chiang Mai due to the air pollution. I don't know what good that will do. The students still will have to breathe the same air and my guess is few families can afford to buy the kinds of face masks that offer decent protection. Click the link at the end of the article and you'll see photos of people wearing face masks - unfortunately the ineffective kind. Those standard face masks might help a little bit, but to me you might as well say removing a bucket of sand from a beach cuts down on sand grains.
Thailand keeps talking about taking action against air pollution, but very little is actually being done, and almost nothing effective. There simply isn't enough police manpower to be able to enforce the rules. Maybe the powers-that-be can call in the military to help with enforcement. I hope so.
Part of the article says, "authorities vowed tough action against those lighting outdoor fires." Great! When are those "authorities" going to actually start doing that?
This is the first time I've ever seen Thailand's air pollution problems get this
bad. With all the exhaust belching cars, motorbikes, trucks, buses, tour buses, factories constantly spewing out pollution, construction sites doing nothing to curtail the dust, crop burning, and God knows what else, what did they expect? Once again, it demonstrates that anything proactive is a rarity in Thailand. I'd at least like to see something reactive going on, but so far nothing impressive. And we're in the midst of the dry season in Thailand, so the weather helping out is not going to happen.
Of course, those causing the pollution - and worldwide, not just Thailand - are much more worried about money than their environment. Fine! When humanity is about to become extinct, which may be soon if things don't change, maybe the last survivors will bury the polluters and toss their bank account passbooks into the coffins with them . . .
Here's the latest:
Calls for schools in Chiang Mai to close as haze crisis worsens
February 14, 2019
With Chiang Mai entering the global list for worst air pollution, calls are growing for schools and educational institutes in the northern province to close down temporarily for the sake of students.
“The Chiang Mai University [CMU], in particular, should suspend its classes until the situation improves. Not only will this save students, but it will also raise public awareness of the severity of smog,” the Legal Research and Development Centre of CMU’s Faculty of Laws said in a statement yesterday.
The statement was released after AirVisual, an internationally recognised platform for air-quality data, ranked Chiang Mai as the world’s third-most polluted city on Tuesday afternoon. The sky in Chiang Mai has been of brownish hue for several days now.
The Pollution Control Department (PCD) reported yesterday that the level of PM2.5 – airborne particulates of 2.5 microns or less in diameter – in Chiang Mai’s Muang district hovered at around 85-94 micrograms per cubic metre of air, well above the 50mcg safe limit. PM10 was at 114mcg to 123mcg, exceeding the 100mcg safe limit, and the Air Quality Index (AQI) ranged between 188mcg and 203mcg, double the 100mcg safety threshold.
CMU’s Legal Research and Development Centre said that in the face of such serious air pollution, government agencies should start handing out free protective masks to people.
The centre added that relevant authorities in Chiang Mai should also urgently draw up tangible long-term solutions for smog – which has been affecting the province for over a decade now.
“If those in power do not take action or show any responsibility, they should be transferred,” the centre declared.
Meanwhile, PCD said the amount of small dust particles in the North was very high yesterday mainly due to forest fires. There have been more than 1,000 hotspots in the North this past week.
Though haze in the northern province of Phrae appeared to have eased yesterday, it was still at a worrying level with PM2.5 per cubic metre of air recorded at 68mcg and its AQI at 141, down from 130mcg and 240 respectively. The haze was so bad on Tuesday that one aircraft was not able to land at Phrae Airport.
Smog also enveloped the nearby province of Nan for three consecutive days, as locals rushed to burn agricultural fires before authorities imposed a ban in their area.
In nearby Lampang, the smog was so bad that authorities vowed tough action against those lighting outdoor fires.
A strict ban has been imposed on outdoor fires in Lampang province from February 10 to April 10. In Nan, Phrae, Phayao and Chiang Rai provinces, the ban will run from tomorrow until April 15. As for Chiang Mai, Lamphun, Mae Hong Son and Tak, the ban will run from March to April.
After about 10 days of respite, Bangkok and its adjacent provinces saw a return of the smog crisis yesterday.
Of the 43 areas where air-quality monitoring devices have been placed, 28 were found to have gone past the PM2.5 safe limit as of 3pm yesterday.
In the morning there were just two areas with unsafe levels of PM2.5, but by noon yesterday, the number of areas with unsafe levels of PM2.5 had risen to 14.
http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/ ... l/30364090