Bangkok's busy business areas are being choked with air pollution, with concentrations of particulate matter smaller than 2.5 microns (PM2.5) much higher than safe standards, Bangkok officials warned on Thursday.
Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) deputy governor Suwanna Jungrungruang raised the warning during an academic seminar on establishing clean air zones in inner Bangkok.
Suwanna told the seminar that the BMA had measured the air quality at 23 locations in the capital last year and found that toxic PM2.5 was present in concentrations much higher than safe standards of 50 micrograms per cubic metre.
For example, in Bang Khen and Thon Buri, PM2.5 was present in concentrations of 116 mg/m.
Suwanna said vehicles were the main cause of the increasing air pollution.
She added that construction on roads also contributed to the worsening air quality.
Since air pollution has serious impacts on the health of Bangkok residents, the BMA plans to launch clean air zones with a pilot project in Pathumwan district.
As part of the project, the BMA will clean roads more frequently and plant more trees while creating a network including volunteers and private companies to monitor air quality in the city, Suwanna said.