Published: Wed, January 16, 2019
Sci-tech | By April Francis

Thailand: Fake rain to fight air pollution in Bangkok

Thailand: Fake rain to fight air pollution in Bangkok

An activist claims the smog now blanketing greater Bangkok comes from farmers burning sugarcane fields to make harvesting easier.

The Pollution Control Department (PCD) should warn people on an hourly basis about air pollution, especially to protect vulnerable groups such as elderly people, children and sick people, and also adjust the country's PM2.5 safety standards to align with that of the WHO, Rungsrit said.

"Our PM figure is high but it is not a crisis yet", he said.

Bangkok's truckers have been advised to use biodiesel instead of regular diesel to help fight the city's air pollution.

Citing a ranking by airvisual.com, Greenpeace Thailand tweeted that Bangkok ranked the ninth worst city on Earth for air quality. Also, people have been urged to stay indoors.

"The impacts to our health from PM2.5 are more subtle and it takes a long time before people get sick from air pollution, so many people and authorities underestimate the deadly threat from PM2.5 to our health", he said.

While the air quality has deteriorated to harmful levels over the past three days, Witsanu Attavanich, associate professor of economics at Kasetsart University said the situation was likely to remain at critical levels for no less than another month due to weather patterns and limited wind.

The China-based air-pollution monitoring site aqicn.org reported that the PM2.5 AQI in Bangkok on Sunday reached a peak of 195, an unhealthy level, while some areas such as Bang Khen district were at hazardous levels, with PM2.5 AQI at 394 on Sunday morning.

The most polluting log burner and open fire fuels will be banned as part of an ambitious strategy to tackle air pollution announced by the Environment Secretary. For each of us, our health is unavoidably shaped by the environment we live in.

His research on pollution-related health costs in 2017 found that every microgram of PM10 beyond the safe limit will cost Bangkok's inhabitants up to THB18.42 billion (US$577 million) in medical expenses. Bangkok (left) has been hit by persistent smog caused by a mix of exhaust from vehicles, the burning of fields by farmers outside the city and pollutants from factories.

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