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BANGKOK 21 April 2019 07:33
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Chiang Mai still smog-bound, but no longer world’s most polluted city

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Chiang Mai still smog-bound, but no longer world’s most polluted city

By Natthawat Laping, 
Kriangkrai Rattana 
The Nation

 

0b0850e2276c00d15db5d59d4c397157.jpeg

 

Chiang Mai finally lost top spot but remained very polluted on Tuesday as it fell to the fourth most polluted city on the planet, scoring 182 in the air quality index (AQI) at airvisual.com.

 

The website as of 10am reported that the northern city, with a 182 AQI and a PM2.5 level of 114.7 micrograms per cubic metre (mcg) of air, had been headed by Delhi (208mcg), Beijing (198mcg) and Lahore in Pakistan (186mcg).

 

Meanwhile, the Pollution Control Department cited lower but still unsafe levels of PM2.5 – airborne particulates 2.5 microns or less in diameter – in most parts of the nine northern provinces, ranging from 43-143mcg. 

 

The department, measuring 24-hour averages of PM2.5, put the tambon of Wiang Phang Kham in Chiang Rai’s Mae Sai district at 143mcg, followed by Tambon Jong Kham in Me Hong Son’s Mueang district at 105mcg and Tambon Wiang of Chiang Rai’s Mueang district at 95mcg. 

 

Also wheezing in thick haze were Chang Pheuk (85mcg) in Mueang Chiang Mai, Nai Wiang (80mcg) in Mueang Nan; Mae Pa (73mcg) in Tak’s Mae Sot district; and Sri Phum (71mcg) in Mueang Chiang Mai.

 

The safe limit of PM2.5 in Thailand is 50mcg, which is double the dose recommended by the World Health Organisation, and the safe level for AQI is 100. 

 

The high level of haze in Chiang Rai reportedly stemmed from the many forest fires, both in the province and from nearby areas. 

 

On Tuesday, a 500-rai (80 hectares) section of forested land overlapping Tambon Tan Tawan of Chiang Rai’s Phan district and Tambon Wiang Hao in Phayao’s Mae Chai district was damaged by fire, which continued to rage on while officials and volunteers – having trekked two hours into the forest to the fire’s location in a steep mountainous area – were trying to put it out as of press time. 

 

Fifty villagers in the two tambons also hurriedly built a firebreak to prevent the spread of the forest fire, which was suspected of having been inadvertently started by villagers who had entered the area to collect forest products.

 

Chiang Mai Public Health Office deputy director Dr Waranyoo Jamnongprasartporn on Tuesday revealed that, in the past two months, more than 90,000 people had sought medical help about symptoms that could be associated with smog. 

 

From January 6 to March 16, 91,182 people sought help after suffering from the four ailments associated with or which could flare up due to high haze, he said.

 

They comprised 48,037 respiratory-disorder patients, 38,857 heart and coronary-artery disease patients, 2,661 with eye inflammation and 1,627 people with inflamed skin. 

 

Waranyoo also urged those working outdoors to wear a facemask, drink plenty of water and contact a doctor if they develop an abnormal health condition, while others should refrain from staying outdoors during a period of high haze.

 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30366092

 

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-- © Copyright The Nation 2019-03-19

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Going outdoors ‘still dangerous’

By Natthawat Laping, 
Kriangkrai Rattana, 
Nisanart Kanwalwong 
The Nation 

 

 

ca1903ebcde047c2b3d5dab9fafc62d7.jpeg

 

Chiang Mai remains smog-bound, but falls four places in list of world’s most polluted cities

 

Thought Chinag Mai has finally dropped four places in the list for the most-polluted city on the planet, pollution in the northern capital was still very high yesterday scoring 182 in the air quality index (AQI) on airvisual.com. 

 

As of 10am yesterday, the website reported that Chiang Mai’s AQI stood at 182 and it had a PM2.5 level of 114.7 micrograms (mcg) per cubic metre of air, after Delhi (208mcg), Beijing (198mcg) and Lahore (186mcg).

 

Meanwhile, the Pollution Control Department cited lower but still unsafe levels of PM2.5 – airborne particulates of 2.5 microns or less in diameter – in most parts of the nine northern provinces, ranging from 43 to 143mcg. 

 

Enveloped in thick haze

 

The department, measuring 24-hour averages of PM2.5, put the tambon of Wiang Phang Kham in Chiang Rai’s Mae Sai district at 143mcg, followed by tambon Jong Kham in Mae Hong Son’s Muang district at 105mcg and tambon Wiang of Chiang Rai’s Muang district at 95mcg. 

 

Also enveloped in thick haze were tambons Chang Pheuk (85mcg) and Sri Phum (71mcg) in Muang Chiang Mai; Nai Wiang (80mcg) in Muang Nan; and Mae Pa (73mcg) in Tak’s Mae Sot district.

 

The safe limit of PM2.5 in Thailand is 50mcg, which is double the amount recommended by the World Health Organisation, and the safe level for AQI is 100. 

 

The high-level of haze in Chiang Rai reportedly stemmed from the many forest fires, both in the province and from nearby areas. 

 

Yesterday, a 500-rai (80-hectare) section of forested land overlapping tambon Tan Tawan of Chiang Rai’s Phan district and tambon Wiang Hao in Phayao’s Mae Chai district caught on fire, which continued to rage while officials and volunteers – having trekked two hours into the forest – were trying to put it out as of press time. 

 

Fifty villagers in the two tambons also hurriedly built a firebreak to prevent the spread of the blaze, which was suspected of having been inadvertently started by villagers who had entered the area to collect forest products.

 

Chiang Mai Public Health Office deputy director Dr Waranyoo Jamnongprasartporn yesterday revealed that, in the past two months, more than 90,000 people had sought medical aid for symptoms that can be associated with smog. 

 

From January 6 to March 16, 91,182 people sought help after suffering from four ailments associated with, or which could flare up due to haze, he said.

 

They comprised 48,037 respiratory-disorder patients, 38,857 heart and coronary-artery disease patients, 2,661 with eye inflammation and 1,627 people with inflamed skin. 

 

Waranyoo also urged those working outdoors to wear a facemask, drink plenty of water and contact a doctor if they develop an abnormal health condition, while others should refrain from staying outdoors during high haze.

 

Meanwhile, the Chiang Mai Natural Resource and Environment Office director, Saratcha Suriyakul Na Ayudhaya, said yesterday that a satellite image at 2.42am showed 20 hot spots in Chiang Mai, while the province’s 25 districts had seen a total of 708 hot spots during March 1-18. 

 

He said that forest-fire damage in Chiang Mai province for January and February had totalled 174,169 rai – a majority (159,157 rai) of which was conserved forestland. The remainder affected general woodlands, land plots conserved for farming under the Agricultural Land Reform Office, farmlands and the areas along highways.

 

As the province had implemented a ban on outdoor burning from March 1 to April 30, the authorities have, so far, punished three people for violations, he said.

 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30366121

 

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 -- © Copyright The Nation 2019-03-20
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The real problem:

 

the forest fire, which was suspected of having been inadvertently started by villagers who had entered the area to collect forest products.

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Pretty much the norm here for much of the year!

AQI Okpo 20th March.JPG

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15 hours ago, snoop1130 said:

Chiang Mai... no longer world’s most polluted city

Well, that's a breath of fresh air. Oops, too soon 😷

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15 hours ago, snoop1130 said:

91,182 people sought help after suffering from the four ailments associated with or which could flare up due to high haze, he said.

Horrible!!!😲

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48 minutes ago, Tracyb said:

The real problem:

 

the forest fire, which was suspected of having been inadvertently started by villagers who had entered the area to collect forest products.

Inadvertently? Doesn't burning the forest cause valuable mushrooms to grow?

 

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They comprised 48,037 respiratory-disorder patients, 38,857 heart and coronary-artery disease patients, 2,661 with eye i nflammation and 1,627 people with inflamed skin.  

 

and yet local officials do nothing but talk...

 

where i live in kanchanaburi not one official has actually done anything. People are reporting illegal fires, heading out in the middle of the night to get gps, photos and video and passing it on to a task force to do something but all they do is call orbator and they are the most corrupt brain dead usless morons on the planet. Nothing ever gets done from that point and never will. Theyshould be chatged with human rights abuses. Its a human right to breath clean air.

 

Im a bit of a science nut and subscribe to differnt things and one study over a few years has been decreasing rainfall in poluted areas. Yep, its now fact. Its disgusting to see the same useless brain dead farmers that burn everything are also complaining they never have enough water. Wonder why....

 

And another thing why are cities important. The town im in has a higher pm than cm all year round!

 

good to see prayut has really showed the people that he cares and done what hes always done. Nothing...

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So, spraying water worked! 
Are you Thai? Because that is what 95% of the population believe.
So again, like many other issues, it's not going to be solved by eradicating the root source of the problem.
Instead just fighting the symptoms...

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, fresher said:

Inadvertently? Doesn't burning the forest cause valuable mushrooms to grow?

 

That was my point in excerpting that portion of the news article. 😉 

 

We'll continue to choke until the government gets serious about the problem.  California has its Air Quality Management District and that agency is notoriously heavy handed in quashing sources of pollution.  Just research how much improved the air quality is in LA over the past 30 years.  

 

This is a chronic problem with no short term solutions.  The only effective means of combatting the smoke is to enter into a long term war against polluters, employing effective educational policies, and implementing STEEP fines against abusers.  Oh, but..... TIT.    Never mind!

 

Any chance we could see help from this or any future government?  I doubt it.  

 

Edited by Tracyb

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So the only solution is to keep spraying water forever?

 

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Posted (edited)

After 5 days of wearing a 3M mask outdoors, I took a short walk without one. The air smelled like smoke and car exhaust. I can only assume that my prior constant unprotected exposure desensitized my respiratory system because I could not smell the pollution before wearing a mask.

Edited by hyku1147
form
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