Emissions in parts of city exceed limit
Exhaust fumes from vehicles biggest cause of pollutionPeople living in the capital are now at risk of developing respiratory ailments, according to the state pollution-monitoring agency, which found that the air in five main areas of Bangkok contained high levels of particles from vehicles' exhaust emissions.
Chatuchak district's Phaholyothin area had the highest level of black exhaust smoke, with a pollutant level of 154 micrograms per cubic metre, which exceeds the standard air-pollution safety level of 120 micrograms per cubic metre, according to a report conducted by the Pollution Control Department (PCD).
Five most polluted areas
The five areas in Bangkok with the highest levels of air pollution were Ratchathewi district's Rama VI Road, Chatuchak's Phaholyothin Rd, Din Daeng Road, the Thonburi area and Pathumwan's Rama IV Road.
The report noted that the air pollution in these areas was caused by exhaust fumes released by the millions of private vehicles on Bangkok's roads.
Despite the sharp increase in the number of environmentally friendly cars in the capital during the past few years, air pollution in Bangkok still exceeds the standard level, particularly in high traffic-congestion zones, according to the report.
According to the Land Transport Department, the number of registered cars was more than 7,660,000 as of February 28. Of this number, 1,101,437 were private vehicles and pickup trucks.
In a bid to reduce exhaust emissions, the PCD will instruct relevant agencies to strictly monitor vehicles and take action against drivers whose cars emit excessive exhaust fumes.
During the past 10 years, drivers of more than 36,944 cars have faced suspensions, and 30,160 cars have been banned altogether due to excessive exhaust emissions.
In a related development, the PCD has found that Mae Hong Son province's Muang district had the highest amount of small particles sized less than 10 micrometres in diameter (PM10) in the air in the northern region.
The PM10 level in the district was 101-219 micrograms per cubic metre, putting local people at risk of health problems, the department said.
The high level of small airborne particles in the area was blamed on recent large-scale forest fires in the province.