Bangkok’s level of PM2.5 particulate matter reached well into the harmful zone on Thursday morning, leading to health warnings from officials and environmental organisation Greenpeace.
According to an international website over 200 micrograms of the particulate matter with a diameter of 2.5 microns or smaller (PM2.5) was recorded in the nation’s capital, posing a health threat to city dwellers. Meanwhile, local authorities put the measurements in the low-to-mid 100 micrograms – still high above official “safe” limits.
The Pollution Control Department (PCD) and Greenpeace issued an air pollution alert for residents of Bangkok other major cities in the upper part of the country, after measurements showed that the level of PM2.5 has risen beyond safe limit in many provinces.
According to an air pollution report at http://aqicn.org, the PM2.5 level in Bangkok reached peaked at 203 micrograms at around 7am, a level considered “very unhealthy” and leading to calls for children, adults, and people with respiratory disease to avoid all outdoor exertion.
The PCD sets 50 micrograms as Thailand’s safe level, while the World Health Organisation’s limit is 25 micrograms.
All air-quality monitoring stations in Bangkok found levels higher than 50 micrograms, according to a report from the PCD. The department advised those at high-risk, such as patients with heart disease and respiratory disease, to wear a facemask or avoid outdoor activities and consult their doctor immediately if they feel ill.
Greenpeace also warned on its Facebook fanpage that people living in Rayong, Lampang, Chiang Mai, and Khon Kaen, in addition to Bangkok, should be aware of the harmful air pollution level. The level of PM2.5 rose beyond 150 micrograms in all of those provinces.
PCD said that the severe air pollution in Bangkok was a result of moist and cool weather trapping pollution within the city, The Meteorological Department predicted that the cold and misty weather in Bangkok would continue until Sunday.
Due to this weather pattern, officials predicted that air pollution will remain a serious problem in Bangkok until at least this coming weekend.