For the fifth straight day on Monday, Bangkok and areas in its vicinity continued to be plagued by dangerous air pollution.
The Pollution Control Department (PCD) reported that air quality readings in 19 roadside locations exceeded the safety limit for PM2.5, particulate matter measuring 2.5 microns or less which can infiltrate the respiratory system and potentially cause serious health problems.
Public Health Threat Expected To Remain Into Tuesday
Thailand’s set safety level for PM2.5 is 50 micrograms per cubic metre.
On Monday morning many areas in the Thai capital were showing PM2.5 levels far above 100 micrograms per cubic metre, one area being as high as 167 micrograms.
Bangkok Real-time Air Quality Index (AQI) data compiled over the past 48 hours placed PM2.5 levels between a minimum of 85 micrograms and a maximum of 170 micrograms.
Bangkok governor Aswin Kwanmuang meanwhile said city authorities were continuing with measures to spray water and wash roads in effect since Friday night, and that this had resulted in dust particle levels dropping in six locations as of Monday morning. He said all 50 district offices had employed the measures at risky spots.
The PCD warned air quality may still pose a threat to public health on Tuesday, and continued urging people to stay indoors and if they did go out, to wear a KN95 or N95-rated face mask which are designed to block against fine airborne particulate matter. Normal face masks were not effective enough.
It called for vehicles that emit black exhaust smoke to stay off the roads and for a halt to the lighting of outdoor fires.
Air quality updates can be followed via the phone application Air4thai or at http://air4thai.pcd.go.th