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BANGKOK 19 April 2019 14:03
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Air pollution shortening children’s lives by 20 months, report shows

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Air pollution shortening children’s lives by 20 months, report shows

By Chularat Saengpassa 
The Nation 

 

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File photo : Mae Hong Son

 

THE SMOG situation in the North has become grimmer than ever after an international report concluded that air pollution shortens children’s lives by 20 months on average.

 

The State of Global Air report for 2019 released on Wednesday underlines the fatal effects of pollution, saying that fine dust particles like PM2.5 kill more people than alcohol, malnutrition and drugs. According to the report, the life span of children born in heavily polluted regions of South Asia could be shortened by 30 months. 

 

Thailand has good reason for concern over the report’s findings. Its northern region has been struggling with harmful levels of PM2.5 (particulate matter less than 2.5 micrometres in diameter) for months now.

 

“Smog is destroying the life of my son,” Ong-art Decha, a Chiang Mai resident, lamented on Facebook recently. 

 

The post included an image of his four-year-old son Mon Phu, who sought medical help after bleeding from the nose apparently due to exposure to smog. 

 

The heavy haze enveloping Chiang Mai’s Chiang Dao district had forced the family to move to a hotel in Chiang Mai’s Muang district, though just a day after moving, Mon Phu began showing signs of a smog-related condition. When taken to Chiang Mai Hospital, the four-year-old was diagnosed with inflamed lungs. 

 

For years, the World Health Organisation has described PM2.5 as carcinogenic. 

 

Prof Dr Chaicharn Pothirat, who teaches at Chiang Mai University’s Faculty of Medicine, said that for every 10-microgram rise in PM2.5 per cubic metre of air, the number of patients admitted to hospital rises by 3 per cent on average. 

 

“The patients usually come with complaints related to acute symptoms from stroke, paralysis, heart failure, lung inflammation, asthma, etc,” he said. 

Chaicharn also believes that exposure to PM2.5 can directly shorten people’s lives. 

 

According to the Chiang Mai-based disease control office, more than 40,000 people sought medical help for respiratory disorders during the 10-week period between January and March. In the same period, nearly 30,000 people visited doctors for heart and blood-vessel related diseases, 2,783 sought help for skin inflammation and 2,373 needed medical attention because of inflamed eyes.

 

Air quality remains poor in Chiang Mai, which was ranked second in the airvisual.com list of the world’s worst polluted cities as of 1pm yesterday with an air quality index of 280. With forest fires cited as the main cause air pollution, officials are now working to tackle the situation.

 

As of 2.42pm yesterday, the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency’s fire-monitoring system reported 275 hot spots in the region. The top five worst-hit provinces were Mae Hong Son (114 hot spots), Chiang Mai (35), Lampang (35), Chiang Rai (33), and Phayao (20). 

 

Mae Hong Son has been hit hard by this year’s smog season, with many flights to province cancelled due to reduced visibility. The pollution has been visible to the naked eye for months. 

 

In Mae Hong Son, the PM2.5 amount reached 160mcg per cubic metre of air at 8am yesterday, a far cry from the safe limit of 50mcg. 

 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30367171

 

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-- © Copyright The Nation 2019-04-05

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Posted (edited)
35 minutes ago, Rocking Robert said:

The Government must protect the children.  

yeah, such as the USA.  where Juliana vs. USA has had to be filed and has been fought tooth and nail by our own government and now is back to trial again.  let's get our own act together.  so.  another example, for us in the North where I live too and have chronic asthmatic bronchitis.  a 10 to 15 year latency between burning and it's effects, some of which persist for more than 100 years.  that's a lot longer than a few weeks or months.  and involves more than just heart and lung disease.  that's for the "stuff" emitted as a powerful gas at 285 grams per kilometer traveled per person.  by airplane.  which even the most optimistic say another 15 to 20 years is needed to come up with an emissions free airplane technology, yet Paris 2015 said we need to go negative not just reduce emissions ("carbon removals").  and just as with the MAX airplane saga, it takes many years to test new aircraft technology and even then we need to do more testing.  maybe 5 to 10 years.  and then 20 years to swap out air fleets.  while 6,400 million of us who have never been inside an airplane even once in their lives yet, now begin to intertwine their personal, family and business lives with the "social right" to cheap indirectly and directly publicly subsidized air travel.  that today emits carbon for what is not very essential at all and will be with us for 15 plus 10 plus 20 years plus the 10 to 100 year latency from emission to effect transmitted by higher ocean temperatures back to our atmosphere and climate system teleconnections.  which is as long as I have lived so far and if northern Thai residents experience anything more intense or pervasive in that time period as the 2015-2016 "Los Ninos" drought already was like..... and that is being more optimistic than our most optimistic scientists tell us to be...... the smoke we are suffering is short term.  what we are doing in our other "burning" activities, in tons of aviation fuel that magically disappear as a very powerful gas, is going to make it continuously worse for a very very long time.              

Edited by WeekendRaider
  • Haha 1

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There is a solution , as usual, shown by westerners, as to proper burning method that yields no smoke and creates an end product that can be fertiliser. 

But dopey nation . The 1% top dogs care just for their stranglehold on the dopey 99% who are incapable of thinking.

 

This disgusting situation does not bother them . Short time, sometime, Mai pen rai , rain come soon, bleat bleat bleat, baaa baaa baaa

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im happy they are starting to display news like this but 20months isnt as much as other studies say. Ita much much worse depending on whats being burnt ita more like 48months to 14years.

Thr major drama with the pollution is it stunts childrens growth and destroys brain cells therefore more idiots procreate!

Thais dont care about Thais!

My neighbours after 4.5yrs of complaining about charcoal have been told they have to stop by may however they keep lighting massive fires as a form of revenge and then leaving for the day. Such childish morons and they should be charged with attempted murder.

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Knowing that a child's lifespan may be shortened by 20 months from the effects of breathing polluted air is theoretical.  Dying at an earlier age from injuries suffered in a motorcycle is pragmatic.

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