Air pollution in the North continues to be critical, with small dust particles of 2.5 microns in size (PM2.5) exceeding safe limits at almost every air-quality testing station.
The Pollution Control Department (PCD) revealed on Sunday that although PM2.5 levels had dropped from the previous day at almost every station, the amounts were still higher than safe standards.
On average, the amount of PM2.5 in the North ranged between 48 and 91 micrograms per cubic metre of air during the 24-hour period.
For safety reasons, the amount of PM2.5 should not exceed 50mg per cubic metres of air, according to Thai health authorities.
In Chiang Mai’s Muang district, air quality tests revealed the amount of PM2.5 ranged between 86mg and 91mg.
Regarding PM10 particles, tests showed there were between 64mg and 140mg throughout the North. The stated safe limit for PM10 is 120mg and levels registered within the stated limit except in Tak’s Mae Sot district, where up to 140mg was detected.
The PCD urged relevant authorities to quickly address air pollution by controlling burning in open areas. People were asked to not burn their garbage, farm detritus or fallen leaves.
“If there is thick smog, avoid going outdoors,” the department advised. “If you really need to go out, wear masks.”
The statement added that people who were developing health problems linked to smog should see a doctor.
According to the Air Visual app, which monitors air quality around the world, Chiang Mai ranked sixth worst in the world in terms of air pollution, according by US Air Quality Index.
It ranks just Nepal’s Kathmandu, India’s New Delhi, Pakistan’s Lahore, Bangladesh’s Dhaka and India’s Kolkata.