Greenpeace Southeast Asia has used Pollution Control Department data and a satellite map of PM2.5 concentrations to identify the 10 urban areas suffering the worst air pollution in Thailand.
These are Mahachai in Samut Sakhon province; Mae Pah in Mae Sod, Tak province; Song Kanong in Prapadaeng, Samut Prakan province; Sripoom in Chiang Mai; Chang Phuak in Chiang Mai; Mae Moh in Lampang province; Na Phra Lan in Chaloem Phra Kiat District, Saraburi province; Din Daeng in Bangkok; Nai Muang in Khon Kaen; and Thonburi’s Intarapitak Road in Bangkok.
People in theses 10 urban areas have been breathing concentrations of PM2.5 that exceed Thailand’s official safe limit of 50 micrograms per cubic metre for between 19 and 68 days. The picture is even worse when you consider that the World Health Organisation (WHO)’s safe limit for PM2.5 is 25 micrograms/m3 for three days in one year. It is evident that people living in these urban areas are facing high risk of short- and long-term impacts from continuous exposure to high levels of PM2.5. Lack of progressive measures to manage this ongoing air pollution problem could potentially lead to a growing public health crisis in the country.
“In denying this air pollution crisis, the government has failed to turn it around as an opportunity to drive public policy on air quality management in accordance with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – specifically Goal 3, which calls to ‘ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages’. … We call on the Thai government to take immediate action for the safety and well-being of its citizens,” said Tara Buakamsri, Thailand director of Greenpeace Southeast Asia.
Greenpeace demands that the Pollution Control Department and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment take urgent steps to combat the PM2.5 levels in Thailand’s air. These should include a mean safe limit of 35 micrograms/m3 over 24 hours and 12 micrograms/m3 over a year. Additionally, concrete measures should be put in place to ensure Thailand meets the Asean “Haze-Free 2020” target.
Greenpeace Southeast Asia