By Imran Khan • 02 February 2023 • 12:53
Thailand asks public to remain indoors due to alarming levels of air pollution.
Photo by Pornprasert-Khanchitchai Shutterstock.com
Authorities in Thailand have urged people to stay indoors on Thursday, February 2, as air pollution levels in the regions spiked to levels unsafe to breathe.
The government has also asked people to avoid activities that are strenuous, as the concentration of small and hazardous particles known as PM 2.5 was recorded at 14 times higher level than recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
According to IQAir, a Swiss air quality tracker, cited by Reuters, the present levels of pollution in Bangkok make it the sixth highest in the world.
Thai residents also complained of problems they are facing, including trouble breathing as well as poor visibility.
“I feel my eyes burn. I can barely see when I have to ride a motorcycle against the wind”, said Kanjanaporn Yampikul from Bangkok.
Meanwhile, the Thai pollution control department has blamed the stagnate weather condition for the increase in pollution levels.
“The stagnant weather conditions are exacerbating vehicle emissions and seasonal fires on agricultural lands”, said an official, adding, “We have to intensify (efforts to tackle pollution) by encouraging people to work from home. For schools…they might have to avoid outdoor activities in order to prevent impacts on children’s health”.
As per the WHO annual average reading of PM 2.5 particles should not be more than 5 micrograms per cubic metre, but Bangkok and its surrounding areas have been recorded at 70.5 micrograms per cubic metre.
WHO also states that levels of PM 2.5 even lower than 5 micrograms per cubic metre can cause a major risk to health.
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