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Songkhla prepares face masks, medicine for next round of toxic air


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Songkhla prepares face masks, medicine for next round of toxic air

By Somchai Samart

The Nation



Photo Courtesy of Songkhla Provincial Public Health Office


Although PM2.5 levels – airborne particulates 2.5 microns or less in diameter – were on Friday back to officially safe levels in Songkhla, the head of the provincial public health office, Dr Uthitsak Harirattanakul, instructed officials to get masks and medicine in place in case the air quality again deteriorates.


Uthitsak said face masks and medicine for local residents needs to be quickly organised, especially for those in Hat Yai district, to be ready if the toxic smog from Indonesia soon flared up again. There are tens of thousands of face masks at hand – both the internationally recognised N95-grade and a lower grade mask – and Uthitsak was confident they would prove sufficient.


Smoke from forest fires in Indonesia on Thursday lifted the PM2.5 level in Hat Yai to 55 micrograms per cubic metre of air– slightly beyond Thailand’s official “safe level” of 50, and double the World Health Organisation’s limit of 25.


On Friday, all lower southern provinces reported levels of between 8mcg and 43mcg of PM2.5 – with Songkhla’s Hat Yai district and Yala's Muang district both at 43 mcg.


Uthitsak said all hospitals, including tambon-level health promotion hospitals, were provided with a sufficient number of face masks for distribution to residents in case of dense smog, while medicine to treat respiratory issues and skin irritation were already in stock.


Source: https://www.nationthailand.com/news/30375903



-- © Copyright The Nation Thailand 2019-09-06
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This issue is also front and centre in the Malaysian press. But the irony of the Malaysian protests is that a lot of these fires are as a result of clearances caused by Malaysian companies with palm oil operations  in  Indonesia. Similarly, Singapore  provides financial services to these companies. Both states could take action such as sanctions against the known perpetrators but they find it easier just to complain. This has been happening for decades. Being based in KL at that time, I well remember the lead up to the 1998  Commonwealth Games. There were huge concerns about air quality for the athletes, never mind the ordinary citizens. 


Too much money at stake.........

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17 hours ago, justin case said:

let's totally ignore that thailand is a main contributor to pollution

But we're talking about air pollution here, and specifically air pollution in Southern Thailand, and the source of that pollution is Indonesia not Thailand.

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