On Monday, toxic haze caused by health-hazardous PM2.5 fine dust particles shrouded Bangkok’s skyline, with the air quality in 49 out of 50 districts reaching unhealthy levels.
Air pollution in the capital worsened as the PM2.5 level intensified, exceeding the Pollution Control Department’s permitted “safe” level of 50 microgrammes per cubic metre (µg/m³), which is double the World Health Organization’s recommendation.
The area with the highest PM2.5 count was Bang Phlad district, registering 91µg/m³, according to the PCD’s air monitoring station, known for its conservative measuring outcomes.
Ratchathewi district recorded PM2.5 at 46 µg/m³, the only district in Bangkok below the accepted safe level.
The recent surge in PM2.5 has been caused by weather patterns, particularly the current lack of air circulation to disperse the fine particles.
On the popular commercial air monitoring app, AirVisual, air quality in Bangkok yesterday was the sixth-worst in the world, with PM2.5 recorded at an average of 70.2 µg/m³.
At lunchtime yesterday, the PM2.5 level surged above 100 µg/m,³ according to the app.
Sonti Kotchawait, an environmental expert and former official scientist at the Environment Ministry wrote on Facebook asking the Bangkok governor to use his special powers to order polluting activities to be halted.
A cabinet motion passed on 1st October 2019 allows provincial governors to exercise special authority to order polluting activities to stop when PM2.5 levels exceed 76 µg/m³.
“The Bangkok governor should have an action plan to deal with such a high PM2.5 level,” he wrote.
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