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Smoke, Smog, Dust 2014 Chiang Mai


Tywais

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If you read some of the old threads, you will see that there are people who are completely oblivious to this unfortunate phenomena. This includes me, who in earnest would probably have never known, even today,. That even though I used to exercise quite hard outdoors during the worst of it. Unfortunately, there appears to be no doubt that the health consequences of this pollution is very bad in the long term, though I personally probably wouldn't worry if just visiting, unless I had previous health/lung problems.

Currently I am experimenting with 3M's filtrate material, regular air conditioner filtering, and one of the supposedly best personal use air purifiers (from the Blueair company), measuring the effect with a particulate counter from Dylos Corp. Hopefully it will let me make some educated guesses as to what is needed to hopefully reduce the problem in my family's home at least.

Post your results. Thanks!

Hi, I have now finished testing most of what I wanted to test. I will

do some more testing, but this will mostly be related to how much time

my air purifier needs to make the room clean, and what speed setting is

necessary when the pollution is extra heavy, so is probably of little general

interest.

There was quite a bit of data gathered, and so I found it easiest to use

my regular document processing system for my own thinking and analyising.

While I admittedly did not pay much attention to others possibly reading

this document when I started on it, I have tried to attach my document as a

PDF-file with this message and have tried to make it more readable for others,

in case anyone else should be interested in reading it.

My short conclusion is that the 3M Filtrete material works, and does

improve things somewhat, but much less than I expected. 3M Filtrete

simply wrapped around a fan also improves things considerably. But only the

air purifier brings the particle count down to fair level, at least without too

much noise.

analysis.pdf

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Hi, I have now finished testing most of what I wanted to test. I will

do some more testing, but this will mostly be related to how much time

my air purifier needs to make the room clean, and what speed setting is

necessary when the pollution is extra heavy, so is probably of little general

interest.

There was quite a bit of data gathered, and so I found it easiest to use

my regular document processing system for my own thinking and analyising.

While I admittedly did not pay much attention to others possibly reading

this document when I started on it, I have tried to attach my document as a

PDF-file with this message and have tried to make it more readable for others,

in case anyone else should be interested in reading it.

My short conclusion is that the 3M Filtrete material works, and does

improve things somewhat, but much less than I expected. 3M Filtrete

simply wrapped around a fan also improves things considerably. But only the

air purifier brings the particle count down to fair level, at least without too

much noise.

Awesome report based on local conditions - much appreciated! thumbsup.gif.pagespeed.ce.dtxKiAJ9C7.gifthumbsup.gif.pagespeed.ce.dtxKiAJ9C7.gifthumbsup.gif.pagespeed.ce.dtxKiAJ9C7.gif

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Hi, I have now finished testing most of what I wanted to test. I will

do some more testing, but this will mostly be related to how much time

my air purifier needs to make the room clean, and what speed setting is

necessary when the pollution is extra heavy, so is probably of little general

interest.

MARRY ME!!!!!!!! smile.png

That's epic to test and compile all of that!!

Will be great to see the effects later this month when it really kicks off. (When the PM10s are in the > 120+ daily average range)

And also looking forward to see how the government measured PM-10 relates to what you measure with your Dylos unit.

It might even be interesting to go take measurements in the very same area as the government measuring station (like the Yupparat one) for comparison purposes. (Accuracy of the government figures has also been a talking point in the past. They run very fancy equipment, but will still be interesting to see if numbers roughly correlate.)

One question though: You state that for the 3M filter material used with an air conditioner, you completely removed the existing filter and replaced with 3M material. If it is the same 3M Filtrete material I'm familiar with then it is supposed to be used together with the existing filter, attaching it to the existing filter with the double-sided tape strips provided. Is that not what you did? So it should completely cover the entire removable filter, if it is the same stuff I'm familiar with at least.

EDIT: Sorry, scratch that question; I just read your footnote in the PDF that answers it. smile.png For a future test it would still be good to measure with the combination of aircon reusable filter + 3M. (I'm volunteering for a test using my air conditioners if you need an old aircon that still has the stock filters.)

Final question: Where did you get the Blueair unit, and how much did it cost roughly?

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Hi, I have now finished testing most of what I wanted to test. I will

do some more testing, but this will mostly be related to how much time

my air purifier needs to make the room clean, and what speed setting is

necessary when the pollution is extra heavy, so is probably of little general

interest.

MARRY ME!!!!!!!! smile.png

That's epic to test and compile all of that!!

Will be great to see the effects later this month when it really kicks off. (When the PM10s are in the > 120+ daily average range)

And also looking forward to see how the government measured PM-10 relates to what you measure with your Dylos unit.

It might even be interesting to go take measurements in the very same area as the government measuring station (like the Yupparat one) for comparison purposes. (Accuracy of the government figures has also been a talking point in the past. They run very fancy equipment, but will still be interesting to see if numbers roughly correlate.)

One question though: You state that for the 3M filter material used with an air conditioner, you completely removed the existing filter and replaced with 3M material. If it is the same 3M Filtrete material I'm familiar with then it is supposed to be used together with the existing filter, attaching it to the existing filter with the double-sided tape strips provided. Is that not what you did? So it should completely cover the entire removable filter, if it is the same stuff I'm familiar with at least.

EDIT: Sorry, scratch that question; I just read your footnote in the PDF that answers it. smile.png For a future test it would still be good to measure with the combination of aircon reusable filter + 3M. (I'm volunteering for a test using my air conditioners if you need an old aircon that still has the stock filters.)

Final question: Where did you get the Blueair unit, and how much did it cost roughly?

1) Trying to somehow get my Dylos unit calibrated, at least roughly,

against the official one was something I wanted to do, but due to lack

of time, and also because I could not seem to find minute or hourly data

on the new air quality website, I dropped that.

On the old air quality site, the data was available on a hourly (and

possibly even minute? I do not remember exactly) basis. On the new

site I only see what appears to be a 24h average, which is too rough to

make a usable correlation I think, not to mention that I am of course not

going to camp outside there for several 24h periods with my Dylos unit.

As I understand the icons on the new air quality website, hourly data

should be available for "Air quality situation in Si Phum, Meuang,

Chiang Mai", but I don't see how to access it.

If there is hourly or minute data available on the new site also, I'd

appreciate a pointer on how to access that, if somebody knows.

The guy who's blog I mentioned regarding the do-it-yourself air

purifier has btw done the same, but in Beijing:

http://particlecounting.tumblr.com/post/63023637403/are-particle-counters-and-government-machines-the-same

According to his calculations, a pm2.5 count of 25,000 corresponds with

a pm2.5 concentration of 100ug. The source of pollution in Beijing

(traffic or factories?) is probably different than here though, where

the main factor is presumably the burning done at this time of the year.

The average weight of the particles would thus also be different I

assume.

2) The air purifier I bought from EA Easy.

A direct link to their airpurifier page is this:

http://www.eaeasy.com/index.php?page=shop.browse&category_id=34&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=64

The website is in English, but the guy who answers their email

reads/writes English well. I ordered by paying the amount in advance in

to their bank account, paying the listed price of 36,900B. Filters are

about 7,000B if I remember correctly, to be replaced every 180 days.

EA Easy also sell the smaller Blueair models (e.g., Blueair 203), but

I figured I am better of running a larger model at slower (and quieter)

speed, than a smaller model at faster (and more noisy) speed. As it is,

I suspect I may have to increase the speed of my 650E model to the max

as the pollution increases anyway though.

The "auto mode" of the 650E model I found useless. It triggers if

somebody is cooking in the kitchen, due to the gas-detector on the unit,

but I have never experienced it triggering due to the dust-detector,

no matter how polluted the Dylos unit reports the area is. The Dylos

people have their own to say about how useless the builtin detectors on

airpurifiers are, and that matches my own experience with the 650E at least.

Suspect I will have to continue using my Dylos unit to check the particle

count in the evening, after running the Blueair on speed 2 in the room,

increasing it to the considerably more noisy speed 3 if/when necessary.

A doctor in Beijing is also quoting a test of air purifiers that seem to be easier
available here in Asia, than the ones tested by consumer report in USA:
Consumer Reports USA actually listed the much cheaper Whirlpool AP51030K at
first place, with Blueair at second and third. Unfortunately it seems difficult
to source the Whirlpool here without going via USA, which would entail unknown import
duties and possible warranty problems.
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Where did you get the Blueair unit, and how much did it cost roughly?

Available here at varying prices.

You may be better off making your own DIY unit if you can find the 600 THB HEPA cartridges in Thailand.

For what it is worth, Powerbuy, as listed on Blueair's site, was my first stop. They even have it available on their website for order. Yet when I went to the big Powerbuy store outside Airport Plaza, it was impossible to order it. I ended up pointing it out to the staff on the Powerbuy website, and while the staff were helpful enough and went to check with what I assume was main office, it was not possible to order it. The staff I talked to assumed Powerbuy had stopped selling it, and showed me various other units, including an European. And there are a lot of different air purifiers available, most (but not all) considerably cheaper than Blueair. Some air purifiers reportedly give of ozone also, which according to Consumer Reports USA is something one should stay clear of.

So best to do ones homework and read the professional reviews before buying something I think. Blueair and IQAir seem to be safe choices from various reviews, though I am sure there are better ones available too. Unfortunately Blueair and IQAir are quite pricey, as are the filters to be replaced every 180 days too, at least for Blueair. :-/

http://www.arb.ca.gov/research/indoor/aircleaners/certified.htm is another interesting site which lists a lot of California-certified air purifiers, including a lot of other interesting information.

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1) Trying to somehow get my Dylos unit calibrated, at least roughly,

against the official one was something I wanted to do, but due to lack

of time, and also because I could not seem to find minute or hourly data

on the new air quality website, I dropped that.

Hourly data is here: http://aqmthai.com/public_report.php , then select for example station 36t (Yupparaj), then select PM10 from the list on the bottom left, then click the 'Table' button, making sure to leave it on 'Raw' instead of Daily. Alternatively there is this site: http://aqicn.org/city/thailand/chiangmai/yupparaj-wittayalai-school/ (The main number shown is the AQI which shows high due to Ozone; it's an inner city location. But PM10 is also measured.)

Thanks for the air purifier info; that's very helpful!

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1) Trying to somehow get my Dylos unit calibrated, at least roughly,

against the official one was something I wanted to do, but due to lack

of time, and also because I could not seem to find minute or hourly data

on the new air quality website, I dropped that.

Hourly data is here: http://aqmthai.com/public_report.php , then select for example station 36t (Yupparaj), then select PM10 from the list on the bottom left, then click the 'Table' button, making sure to leave it on 'Raw' instead of Daily. Alternatively there is this site: http://aqicn.org/city/thailand/chiangmai/yupparaj-wittayalai-school/ (The main number shown is the AQI which shows high due to Ozone; it's an inner city location. But PM10 is also measured.)

Thanks for the air purifier info; that's very helpful!

Ah, silly me. I thought the old and very usable aqmthai.com site was no longer updated, but looks like it still is. Thanks.

I know somebody staying not far away from 36t there, who has a balcony too. I will see if I can arrange to leave my Dylos unit running there a while and correlate the particle count of the Dylos unit with the particle mass reported on aqmthai during next week.

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Was wondering if I was the only one thinking the smog is not that bad so far this year.

Was directed to this site.

Just looking for an every day average Joe opinion from people who have lived here for several years.

Got a few then was directed to this technical thread.

Winnie I thought you went south for the smog season?

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Was wondering if I was the only one thinking the smog is not that bad so far this year.

Last year's topic, 2013, I started on January 14 as that was when it began to be noticeable. And February 2, 2012 was when the first PM-10 exceeded EU safety levels. February 16, 2012 had already gotten serious. News report at that time 2012

So relative to those two previous years this year has been very good up to now.

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Was wondering if I was the only one thinking the smog is not that bad so far this year.

Last year's topic, 2013, I started on January 14 as that was when it began to be noticeable. And February 2, 2012 was when the first PM-10 exceeded EU safety levels. February 16, 2012 had already gotten serious. News report at that time 2012

So relative to those two previous years this year has been very good up to now.

Thank you that was pretty much all I wanted to know.

I was interested in just how others saw it with out all the technical detail.

To the best of my knowledge this is a forum for sharing information and opinions and I had put my opinion out and was interested in others.

This holds true for March the first 2014. I am aware that in two days we can be in a real smoggy situation.

Keep are fingers crossed.

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Certainly starting but much later than previous years and the Doi Suthep test is still a good way to determine how bad/good it is.

If you can see it then it is not too bad!

What I had really noticed this year is that the rice husk had not been burnt in most of the fields where you normally see it happening in the end of last/early part of the year. Many had used mechanical ploughs to turn over the soil before planting and by the time the current crop is ready for harvest the rains may be close.

Maybe something good is happening?

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Certainly starting but much later than previous years and the Doi Suthep test is still a good way to determine how bad/good it is.

If you can see it then it is not too bad!

What I had really noticed this year is that the rice husk had not been burnt in most of the fields where you normally see it happening in the end of last/early part of the year. Many had used mechanical ploughs to turn over the soil before planting and by the time the current crop is ready for harvest the rains may be close.

Maybe something good is happening?

The air has definitely been pretty good, due mostly to the generous winds we have had this year. I don't think much of the problem comes from agricultural burning, although that is a contributor for sure. Last year by this time there were thousands of acres of forest being burned in the mountains up north and even around Chiang Mai. For some reason, very little forest has been torched this year. Some of the areas that I mountain bike were burned twice last year by this time as more leaves fell, but this year, only a few small potions have been burned. If the burning in the hills starts in earnest and the winds switch direction and come from the north, it could get bad quite fast.

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I think the prolonged cold spell (which led to poor visibility, hazy conditions around New Year) may be delaying the smog season. I hike & mountain bike a lot in the hills surrounding CM & the trees seemed later in losing their leaves this year. So maybe the forest burns will be later. Visibility has been poor for a week now. IMHO we haven't had many crystal clear skies this last cool season. So don't hold your breath. With a late start to the bad smog, hopefully rains will be on time, shortening it.

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