Unsafe levels of hazardous PM2.5 particulate matter in Bangkok on Monday morning (February 3) again put the Thai capital among the world’s 10 worst-polluted cities as listed on the mobile app Air Visual.
The app gave Bangkok’s reading at 179 as of 10am (local time), as measured using the United States Air Quality Index (AQI) with the PM2.5 level of 109.5 micrograms per cubic metre of air, ranking it sixth among the cities with the highest levels of pollution. An hour later, the Thai capital dropped to the 10th place with 168 US AQI and the PM2.5 level of 87.8mcg which, while marginally better, is hardly a position of which it can be proud.
According to the Pollution Control Department (PCD)’s air4thai.com report as of 7am, 53 of the 56 air quality-measuring stations in the Greater Bangkok reported PM2.5 levels ranging from 51-77 – which is beyond the Thai safety limit of 50mcg and way above the World Health Organization-recommended cap of 25mcg.
The worst affected areas were Tambon Pak Nam in Samut Prakan’s Muang district (77mcg), Bangkok’s Lak Si district (77), Soi Lat Phrao 95 in Wang Thong Lang district (77), Lat Krabang district (76) Khlong Toei district (76), Paholyothin Road in Bang Khen (76), Samsen Road in Phra Nakhon district (75), Don Muang district (74), Bang Kapi Intersection (74), Din Daeng district (73) and Pattanakan Road in Suan Luang district (70).
The PCD urged residents in the areas with unsafe PM2.5 levels, especially the elderly, small children and anyone with chronic ailments, to take care of their health and to wear face masks when going outdoors while also urging people to refrain from outdoor burning and maintain their cars in good condition so they don’t spit up black exhaust fumes.
Citing the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) report that 33 areas of the capital city had reported unsafe PM2.5 levels from ranging 54mcg-77mcg as of 7am on Monday, BMA permanent secretary Silapasuay Raweesaengsoon affirmed that the district offices had already dispatched city workers to clean roads and spray water from high buildings and officials were also imposing strict control on construction sites in a bid to alleviate the poor air pollution.