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Chiang Mai Overtakes Bangkok in Air Pollution Index

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Chiang Mai Overtakes Bangkok in Air Pollution Index

 

Bangkok’s second wave of smog this year seems to be lifting but don’t be too eager to remove your mask yet; it could get worse in the coming weeks.

 

Last week, AirVisual.com said Bangkok was the 2nd most polluted city in the world. It has since slipped down to the 30s and is now surpassed by Chiang Mai. However, Chiang Mai’s pollution usually comes from its annual burning season when the rice fields are razed for fertility, around March and April each year. We’re not 100% sure why Chiang Mai’s air is worse than Bangkok’s right now but we have a couple of theories.

 

Inevitably some will claim that Bangkok is responsible for producing the smog cloud over Chiang Mai, but it’s easy to dismiss this as far-fetched. Bangkok was built on marshy ground only 1.5 metres above sea level, Chiang Mai sits atop a mountainous valley 310 metres above sea level. It’s almost certainly not the case that Bangkok’s smog has drifted northward and been carried uphill, only to rest so precisely upon another populous city. Chiang Mai is polluting itself.

 

The only remaining question is what is causing Chiang Mai’s smog outside of burning season? The answer is probably from burning something other than fields; trash, the same thing that’s causing Bangkok’s smog. According to a Bangkok Post article trash burning was to blame for the miasma that consumed Chiang Mai in March 2015, despite it also being the beginning of burning season. Thailand is also reliant on fossil fuels for power production, the combustion of which could also be another contributing factor to the pollution. Lastly and most obviously, we also have to take into account the pollution caused by traffic.

 

Chiang Mai’s lack of a BTS or MRT system means that almost all domestic transport is petrol or diesel-powered, but we assume that the rate of this pollution is fairly consistent and should be seen as a contributor to the spike in air pollution rather than the cause.

 

It takes no great leap of the imagination to see why these are the most probable causes but why would people choose to burn trash at a time of year when the air is notoriously bad? Probably because they felt it would be less noticeable in the fug of the smouldering rice fields, as people know what to expect and many temporarily vacate the city. Instead, it actually caused more outrage than anything else because it spiked the city’s air pollution index, endangered drivers and smelled noticeably worse.

 

Unfortunately if you’re currently in Bangkok or Chiang Mai the worst is far from over; AirVisual.com’s pollution forecast looks grim for both cities, with Chiang Mai’s air quality stabilising but Bangkok’s worsening significantly. If you haven’t purchased a mask already then you’ll still get plenty of mileage out of one if you buy it now; it’s far from too late. And even if the current pollution wave ends abruptly it will inevitably return again next year.

 

We only recommend masks with the PM2.5 standard (PM refers to ‘particulate matter’, 2.5 is the measurement of the particles in micrometers), as their filters are fine enough to prevent the inhalation of dirt too small for cheap masks to filter. The 3M M95 respirator is one example of a mask that claims to filter PM2.5 particles, something that your average 7-eleven surgical mask won’t do.

 

If you don’t own a mask already then we recommend ordering one from Lazada, as it will arrive in a matter of days and it’s something that you need urgently. Aliexpress in our experience is cheaper but far slower, with some items taking over 6 weeks to arrive.

 

If you already own an appropriate mask then there’s still more you can do to protect yourself from these harmful particles: install additional filters on your air conditioning units and only go outside when necessary.

 

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Happy there are re-usable bags nowadays available so people can use them for face masks.

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I see it is 74 here where i live in the north near Chiang Mai 

 

lets blame Indonesia 😀

 

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Thank you for sailing with Thai Visa.

 

This is your Captain speaking:
 

Thanks for baiting the Trap(s).

 

Now we will have the climate change antifas posting every day about air quality.

 

Isnt daily TM-30 postings enough?

 

Not trolling........at times of the year the air pollution in Chiang Mai goes up...........you have only 2 choices

1.) wear a mask or whatever you like and endure it.

2.) leave.....relocate to bluer skies.........none of the exits have locks on them.

 

Or you can be one of the endless daily complainers posting about air quality.........it may boost your ego when you hit POST..........but does nothing to change the problem.

 

Enjoy every day and dont concern with what you have zero power change.

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1 minute ago, Captain 776 said:

Thank you for sailing with Thai Visa.

 

This is your Captain speaking:
 

Thanks for baiting the Trap(s).

 

Now we will have the climate change antifas posting every day about air quality.

 

Isnt daily TM-30 postings enough?

 

Not trolling........at times of the year the air pollution in Chiang Mai goes up...........you have only 2 choices

1.) wear a mask or whatever you like and endure it.

2.) leave.....relocate to bluer skies.........none of the exits have locks on them.

 

Or you can be one of the endless daily complainers posting about air quality.........it may boost your ego when you hit POST..........but does nothing to change the problem.

 

Enjoy every day and dont concern with what you have zero power change.

I don't think TM30's are potential killers.  The smog can be fixed,I know it, you know ,government knows it, if there was actually a will, sadly there is not.

And even us lowly Farangs have the power to change things, particularly as this problem affects the locals just as much and they do not have "if you don't like leave" type options. 

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Surely it must be far too early for smog , north of Chiang Rai right now and beautiful clear blue skies ...however , this was 3815976970_IMGP1109(2).JPG.2cff31a216cc08c8f507fe30a0e747d9.JPG pm on a Feb. day earlier this year .  It will be here again no doubt whatever a Gov. official might say.

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Is there a correlation between how polluted it is and how difficult the immigration department is?

 

It should be an inverse relationship. Please come and breathe our Thai air and take it home.

 

Yes, this is tongue in cheek. Khun khao jai mai krup?

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A troll post has been removed

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1 hour ago, George Aylesham said:
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  • Destiny1990
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Happy there are re-usable bags nowadays available so people can use them for face masks.

Use a plastic bag as a face mask will certainly avoid any further need to buy a proper face mask as you will be dead - asphyxiated.

The thing with Re-usable environment friendly bags are that they are Not made from plastic.

My point was why care about reusable shopping bags if the air we breathe here is polluted  with smoke? And why you even report my post? The fact that u failed to understand it is only ur own fault due to poor knowledge!

Edited by Destiny1990

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Immagration has just announced ( after a recent study revealed a link between air quality and memory loss) they will now except '' I was exposed to toxic air'' as an excuse for overstay....

Edited by mok199
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