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Bangkok Air Pollution 2020


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18 hours ago, TallGuyJohninBKK said:

 

We shouldn't live in a country (or world) where it's necessary for children to wear such things. But unfortunately, we do. And the current government here seems to not care a whit about it.

 

They want to complain about the expense they incur in the medical field for uninsured farang hospital bills. How about the collective and long-term medical expense of much of the Thai population breathing in polluted air throughout their lives?

 

The uninsured farang part probably pales in comparison. But that's the issue they're all hot and bothered about -- not the fact that they're slowly killing their own people bit by bit.

 

 

Years ago it wasn't that hard to get many Thai people to wear the same color shirt on the same day.  It was dramatic and made news, including in the foreign media.

 

Instead of a colored shirt, what would be the impact if many Thai people consistently wore a mask each day - would foreign media carry that story, and the reason why?  Would tourists take note?  Could that spur some real action by the current governement?

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You havnt missed a thing and I thank you for posting this.  It boggles the mind that this government,  in a complete lockdown, is incapable of controlling the pollution.  This can only mean there is r

And today, 2nd day of a holiday weekend with an empty city so obviously traffic not the primary cause.  

This can be moved into the pollution thread. Its been very good for a while, as one may expect with reduced activity. But this morning is a different story AQI 140-170. I thought t

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On 1/11/2020 at 8:25 PM, bwpage3 said:

They are still saying the air quality will improve in Shanghai and Beijing. LOL!

 

You are just kidding yourself.

 

The population is increasing, number of cars increasing, pollution increasing.

 

Sooner or later, you reach a point of no return as many cities in China already have.

 

When it monsoon, rains, the air may appear clean, but where exactly do you think the rain is washing all those toxins to?

 

When it gets to the point of wearing a mask everyday, what's the point?

 

Only some one that has trapped themselves in Thailand would think this way.

 

Air pollution was the fourth leading risk factor for deaths in China,

 

Now how much exactly did the Thai gov't budget for environmental issues?

 

They did budget for Submarines.

 

You think this pollution problem is going to fix itself?

 

Will only get worse and many other major cities have learned the hard way.

 

Whether pollution, floods or drought, Thailand has never solved any of these problems and does not have the knowledge or skill to solve these.

 

Let's add a couple more million cars in Bangkok and see how much the air quality improves because that is exactly what will happen in the near future

 

 

 

 

Beijing's infamous smog may be a thing of the past

Have a read. Looks like China is getting it done!

I agree with you that Thailand will not solve the air issues...not in a million years. 

It will need to get so bad, that Thais will act out of character, or out of culture, and confront the ones causing the air issues. They will have to hit rock bottom for that to happen.

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18 hours ago, Bassosa said:

Whether pollution, floods or drought, Thailand has never solved any of these problems and does not have the knowledge or skill to solve these.

 

That's the aspect I'm afraid of. I don't know, though, if it's lack of knowledge, skill, or merely institutional capability/motivation.

 

In my years here, I've rarely seen them successfully confront any major societal/national issue in any sustainable way.  And it doesn't seem there's any likely change to that on the horizon.

 

It usually tends to be bogus / fake / ridiculous solutions or policies that clearly aren't going to work and have no real scientific or other basis in fact / reality / experience. But they trot them out anyway, and most of the time have the more worldly of us laughing at them.

 

There ARE solutions and remedies for these kinds of problems. But they take institutional resolve, a leadership commitment to make change, the willingness to involve real experts and expertise on the matter at hand to fashion the best/proper solutions, and often a substantial financial commitment to make things happen.

 

Just doesn't seem to happen here.  It's a "mai bpen rai" / "you think too mut" society more often than not.

 

Edited by TallGuyJohninBKK
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On 1/12/2020 at 6:52 PM, MaxYakov said:

"... --not the fact that they're slowly killing their own people bit by bit."

 

I agree with the vein of your post with one major exception. I would have worded the above sentence fragment as such:

 

... --not the fact that they're slowly killing their own people themselves bit by bit.

 

My position is that I'm going to resist letting them take me with them w/r their essentially suicidal lifestyle. Sure, some things are beyond the control of the Thai and farang individuals, but many things are not.

 

Discussion of this is, perhaps, beyond the scope of this thread, but the individual decisions not to wear effective anti-pollution masks and to be willfully ignorant of the high levels of pollution in Bangkok are, IMHO, not. 

 

 

Bangkok is only "very unhealthy" for short periods during the year, and is rarely "hazardous"; Chiang Mai and other Thai cities get it worse.  And at least Thailand is better than most cities in China and India.

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1 hour ago, brewsterbudgen said:

Bangkok is only "very unhealthy" for short periods during the year, and is rarely "hazardous"; Chiang Mai and other Thai cities get it worse.  And at least Thailand is better than most cities in China and India.

 

What is short to you?

 

6 months a year? Because in the last 3 months I remember literally 1 green day and the reason I remember it is because it was a rare celibratory occasion full of joy. 

 

Meanwhile back in Canada, the biggest city is consistently under 40 AQI every single day. 

 

Perhaph a comparison of higher standards should be used. Most expats don't have any wet dreams about moving to China or India. Maybe Vietnam, Philippines or Laos would be a better comparison. Or even better some middle ground comparison, not the worst of the worst. Might as well declare that Bangkok air isn't as bad as Fallout 😗

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20 hours ago, Bassosa said:

Have a read. Looks like China is getting it done!

Or that the Chinese are doing their usual propaganda spin.

 

 

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1 hour ago, brewsterbudgen said:

And at least Thailand is better than most cities in China and India.

Well thats raising the bar innit? 

 

No westerner really WANTS to go to live in India or China do they? 

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On 1/9/2020 at 6:35 AM, JAS21 said:

I live on the border of Bangkok and Nonthaburi only a few hundred meters from Changwattana.

 

This morning in my house downstairs my meter showed AQI of 127 and 2.5 level of 103. It was only very very slightly higher outside.

 

Mrs J has gone off to play golf at Muang Ake, She has taken my meter and hopefully will remember to check what the level is there. If I get a reading I will post.

 

 

I notice the well known international school near Pak Kret Chaengwattana has started reporting AQI in the green on various days such as 14th Jan when all around is showing AQI of 150 <2.5 microns.  Is this just advertising. Does Nichada Thani have an external air purifier in its own eco bubble?

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On 1/11/2020 at 8:25 PM, bwpage3 said:

They are still saying the air quality will improve in Shanghai and Beijing. LOL!

 

You are just kidding yourself.

 

The population is increasing, number of cars increasing, pollution increasing.

 

Sooner or later, you reach a point of no return as many cities in China already have.

 

When it monsoon, rains, the air may appear clean, but where exactly do you think the rain is washing all those toxins to?

 

When it gets to the point of wearing a mask everyday, what's the point?

 

Only some one that has trapped themselves in Thailand would think this way.

 

Air pollution was the fourth leading risk factor for deaths in China,

 

Now how much exactly did the Thai gov't budget for environmental issues?

 

They did budget for Submarines.

 

You think this pollution problem is going to fix itself?

 

Will only get worse and many other major cities have learned the hard way.

 

Whether pollution, floods or drought, Thailand has never solved any of these problems and does not have the knowledge or skill to solve these.

 

Let's add a couple more million cars in Bangkok and see how much the air quality improves because that is exactly what will happen in the near future

 

 

 

 

When China says it will clean up the environment it will.

Thailand has not the political will nor the strong leadership to do so.

Current junta is struggling to maintain control despite 4 years+ of repression and sending opponents /dissidents to reeducation

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3 hours ago, brewsterbudgen said:

Bangkok is only "very unhealthy" for short periods during the year, and is rarely "hazardous"; Chiang Mai and other Thai cities get it worse.  And at least Thailand is better than most cities in China and India.

Yes, but I have my own standards.. Bangkok is rarely "Good/Green". It's usually at "Moderate/yellow" or above. I consider any level of air pollution above the WHO standard (PM2. 5 not exceed 10 μg/m3 annual mean, or 25 μg/m3 24-hour mean) to be unacceptable. This WHO standard is cited in my comment in another thread HERE.

 

I have changed my lifestyle and living spaces and upgraded my equipment to try to keep my personal level at or below 5 μg/m3 most of the time, outdoors or indoors (1/2 the WHO guideline). A spinoff of this effort may have contributed to the fact that my incidences of seemingly regular, like clockwork colds (every six months) has been reduced to zero over the past three years.

 

 

 

Edited by MaxYakov
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20 hours ago, Bassosa said:

Can't spin AQI readings though.

 

Of course they can. Thailand's government has its own AQI scale that's different than the standard U.S./international one that's commonly used. And the impact of the Thailand scale is to allow higher levels of PM2.5 pollution before changing the alert warning color to indicate unhealthy. And those are the charts and color codings they use on the Thai government websites for PM2.5 reporting.

 

Thailand's the one that's officially declared that up to 50 micrograms of PM2.5 is no problem, contrary to the much lower limits set by both the WHO and the U.S. EPA as Max's post above explains....

 

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14 minutes ago, JimShorts said:

In related news, Romania wins and gets the highest score possible!

 

 

Screen Shot 2020-01-16 at 2.48.58 PM.png

AQI Level 999 deserves something more dramatic than a simple "Hazardous". Like: "Don't Breathe" or "Run for you Life" or "Put on an OBA (Oxygen Breathing Apparatus)" or "You're About to Die" or "Check/Replace Your PM2.5 Sensor (You're Freaking Everyone Out)". 😁

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On 1/14/2020 at 1:28 PM, brewsterbudgen said:

Bangkok is only "very unhealthy" for short periods during the year, and is rarely "hazardous"; Chiang Mai and other Thai cities get it worse.  And at least Thailand is better than most cities in China and India.

 

Technically as of 2018 data, there are 473 worse cities. (keep in mind Africa has some of the worst air in the world, however they have almost no monitoring stations, so actually much more then 473 worse cities)

 

The top 20 heavily dominated by India. Top 500 heavily dominated by China. 

 

Out of the 31 cities in the world with pop over 5M:

  • 7 cities with higher pop then Bangkok and higher on the list of top 500 most polluted cities
  • 1 city with higher pop then Bangkok and lower on the list of top 500 most polluted cities
  • 13 cities with higher pop then Bangkok and not in the top 500 most polluted cities
  • 3 cities with lower pop the Bangkok and not in the top 500 most polluted cities
  • 7 cities with lower pop the Bangkok and in the top 500 most polluted cities

So as far as air pollution goes if you want to live in city with pop over 5M, there are 17 better options, 13 worse options. 

 

Sources:

https://data.mongabay.com/igapo/2005_world_city_populations/2005_city_population_01.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_most-polluted_cities_by_particulate_matter_concentration

 

Edited by JimShorts
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5 minutes ago, JimShorts said:

Sources:

With all due respect, your "sources' stink, wiki is not a reliable source anymore (if it ever was?) the other is from 2005, personal exposure tells me they are not even vaguely correct & posted with an ulterior motive - like so much is these days!

I do realise that in this day and age it is very difficult to find reliable sources of correct info!

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On 1/15/2020 at 1:48 PM, TallGuyJohninBKK said:

 

Of course they can. Thailand's government has its own AQI scale that's different than the standard U.S./international one that's commonly used. And the impact of the Thailand scale is to allow higher levels of PM2.5 pollution before changing the alert warning color to indicate unhealthy. And those are the charts and color codings they use on the Thai government websites for PM2.5 reporting.

 

Thailand's the one that's officially declared that up to 50 micrograms of PM2.5 is no problem, contrary to the much lower limits set by both the WHO and the U.S. EPA as Max's post above explains....

 

But the AQI readings themselves are accurate....

 

it's up to you how to interpret them. It might be that you're perfectly fine with 300+. Fact is, the current AQI readings throughout Thailand, also carried out by members of the public using professional equipment cannot be gamed by government entities trying to sweep the issue under the carpet. 

They might try however...

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5 hours ago, CGW said:

With all due respect, your "sources' stink, wiki is not a reliable source anymore (if it ever was?) the other is from 2005, personal exposure tells me they are not even vaguely correct & posted with an ulterior motive - like so much is these days!

I do realise that in this day and age it is very difficult to find reliable sources of correct info!

Yes basically impossible to find reliable sources. However city population on wikipedia is probably as accurate as you will find anywhere. The pollution data mostly is coming from private and non-profit sources. You can use the world map option in the airvisual app over time, if you watch it daily for a year it really paints the picture. Or use the history feature on the aqicn website and compare cities. 

 

I think the point still hold true. Bangkok air is certainly polluted, and very unhealthy most of the year. However for a city it's size in Asia, it is probably the 5th or 6th best option, after Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Seoul and maybe Ho Chi Minh. Out of 45 mega-cities in the world with similar populations, about half (mostly the asian ones) are worse and half are better. 

 

Also there are hundreds of much smaller cities in the world with much worse air pollution than Bangkok. 

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While out and about today from noon to about 3pm, my SNDWY pm2.5 was registering between 80-100, which is international AQI of 165-175.  Some folks were wearing masks today, but not that many.

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16 hours ago, Misty said:

While out and about today from noon to about 3pm, my SNDWY pm2.5 was registering between 80-100, which is international AQI of 165-175.  Some folks were wearing masks today, but not that many.

 

More of the same today:

 

188312058_2020-01-1811_49_55.jpg.2e31a0f1b2bb99267253fd2a50c81af7.jpg

 

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Issue here relating to fitness centers/gyms in central BKK:

 

My wife is an avid runner normally in our local park, but with the outdoors air the way it is right now, she hasn't been running after work, and the same poor air quality conditions are likely to persist for at least the remainder of this month.

 

So... anyone know if there are any fitness centers/gyms in BKK that have installed HEPA filters/purifiers indoors to allow exercise without breathing in loads of airborne gunk???

 

Edited by TallGuyJohninBKK
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4 hours ago, TallGuyJohninBKK said:

Issue here relating to fitness centers/gyms in central BKK:

 

My wife is an avid runner normally in our local park, but with the outdoors air the way it is right now, she hasn't been running after work, and the same poor air quality conditions are likely to persist for at least the remainder of this month.

 

So... anyone know if there are any fitness centers/gyms in BKK that have installed HEPA filters/purifiers indoors to allow exercise without breathing in loads of airborne gunk???

 

Maybe someone else knows of one ( a great marketing opportunity)’ but not my gym unfortunately. It has fans circulating outside air in. The badminton courts were bad, registered 90+ the last time I was there. I imagine the rock climbing area was similar. The air conditioned area was 70ish.

 

Our solution was to invest in our own aerobic equipment and install it in a small room that used to be maid s quarters.  The spinning bike was especially reasonable in price. Air quality in that room is very good. I can workout to triathalon videos while watching news or a movie.  Not ideal, but better than sucking in Bangkok a toxic air during the smog season.

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38 minutes ago, Misty said:

Our solution was to invest in our own aerobic equipment and install it in a small room that used to be maid s quarters.  The spinning bike was especially reasonable in price. Air quality in that room is very good. I can workout to triathalon videos while watching news or a movie.  Not ideal, but better than sucking in Bangkok a toxic air during the smog season.

 

Yup, that's the kind of approach I've taken for me. I prefer bicycling, but these days, won't do it outside in BKK for air pollution and safety reasons. So instead, I got a trainer stand attachment for my 10-speed road bike that's currently located in our living room, and I can ride stationary and watch TV or listen to music, etc etc. all while breathing air purifier cleaned air.

 

However, in my wife's case, that's a bit more complicated as she really prefer to run, and that's not something she can really do indoors in our clean air home, I guess, unless we were to buy a treadmill. And I'm not sure how she'd take to that version of running.

 

You'd think, somewhere, some gym mindful of health and fitness concerns would install air purifiers at least in some indoor areas. But at the same time, the purifier units are not cheap and the HEPA filters can be expensive and obviously need to be maintained and changed. So that's perhaps why it either doesn't happen or doesn't happen much.

 

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On 1/18/2020 at 10:17 PM, TallGuyJohninBKK said:

 

Yup, that's the kind of approach I've taken for me. I prefer bicycling, but these days, won't do it outside in BKK for air pollution and safety reasons. So instead, I got a trainer stand attachment for my 10-speed road bike that's currently located in our living room, and I can ride stationary and watch TV or listen to music, etc etc. all while breathing air purifier cleaned air.

 

However, in my wife's case, that's a bit more complicated as she really prefer to run, and that's not something she can really do indoors in our clean air home, I guess, unless we were to buy a treadmill. And I'm not sure how she'd take to that version of running.

 

You'd think, somewhere, some gym mindful of health and fitness concerns would install air purifiers at least in some indoor areas. But at the same time, the purifier units are not cheap and the HEPA filters can be expensive and obviously need to be maintained and changed. So that's perhaps why it either doesn't happen or doesn't happen much.

 

Yes, my husband uses a triathlon trainer on his bike indoors too.

 

We're both runners too.   I used to think running on an indoor treadmill was tedious, but given the Bangkok air quality at times, we invested in a treadmill and it's gotten a lot of use.  The Coach Troy Jacobson "Runerval" treadmill series of videos help - as do his "Spinerval" videos for cycling.

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On 1/18/2020 at 9:34 PM, Misty said:

The spinning bike was especially reasonable in price.

Care to share more details about that spinning bike? Can you get your heart rate above 140 with it? Where did you get it from and for how much if you don't mind me asking?

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2 hours ago, edwardandtubs said:

Care to share more details about that spinning bike? Can you get your heart rate above 140 with it? Where did you get it from and for how much if you don't mind me asking?

Yes, doing interval workouts my heart rate gets above 150 - trying to keep pedal speed between 80-120 RPM, depending on the resistance settings. (I put a cheap Cateye bicycle computer on it to track pedal speed.)

 

The spinning bike came free with the treadmill which we purchased around 15 years ago.  I think the list price for the bike alone was about 1/5 of the treadmill.  Not sure the name of the fitness shop (husband bought it) but I think it was on Thonglor and has closed since then.  You could probably find them at Central or Emporium sports centers, or these days maybe even Lazada.

 

Spinning bikes are mechanical only, so there's no electronics to mess them up. Ours has needed no maintenance, whereas we've had the treadmill serviced a couple of times over the years.

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