Thai residents urged to stay indoors as air pollution reaches serious levels

Residents across Thailand are being asked to stay indoors and wear face masks when leaving their homes as the country experiences dangerously high levels of air pollution.

Thai government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri said Wednesday that the Thai prime minister has advised companies to allow workers to work from home to reduce air pollution from traffic. report.

“Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha is concerned about people’s health, especially those in vulnerable groups, and advises people to wear sanitary masks or N95 masks when leaving their homes and avoid prolonged door activities. I am,” Burapachaisri told reporters.

The country’s pollution control department said “stagnant weather conditions” are exacerbating vehicle emissions and seasonal fires on farmlands.

“We must strengthen [efforts to tackle pollution] By encouraging people to work from home. For schools … we may need to avoid outdoor activities to prevent impacts on children’s health,” the agency’s director-general told reporters.

Bangkok Metropolitan Government warned Air pollution in the capital may not improve until Saturday.

PM2.5 in Angthong province reached 155 micrograms per cubic meter on Friday, according to the Swiss Air Quality Company. This is 31 times the level recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). IQ Air.

Chiang Mai—World 12th most polluted city

Chiang Mai, Thailand ranked PM2.5 levels hit 84.7 micrograms per cubic meter on Friday in the world’s most polluted city.

PM2.5 refers to particulate matter less than 2.5 microns in diameter. WHO recommends that annual average levels of PM2.5 not exceed 5 micrograms per cubic meter.

IQAir said exhaust emissions from traffic, crop burning, construction pollution, and smoke emissions from factories are responsible for high levels of PM2.5 in Thailand’s cities.

“Thailand as a country can be counted as a place with many polluted cities, some of which are notorious for their smoke and haze levels,” he said, calling Bangkok and Chiang Mai among Thailand’s most polluted cities. listed as a department.

Back in 2019, Chiang Mai Municipality Declared A state of emergency after the city’s air pollution levels reached “catastrophic levels” and PM2.5 levels exceeded 700 micrograms per cubic meter.

according to WHO, The burden of disease caused by air pollution rivals other major global health risks such as unhealthy diet and smoking. Exposure to air pollution can cause acute respiratory diseases such as lung cancer and asthma.

Reuters contributed to this report.