Bangkok’s on-going health crisis from pollution particles in the air continues on Tuesday
As most Bangkokians will tell you today, January 15th, 2019, there is little or no reduction in air pollution in many areas of the Thai capital. That means Thai officials are now faced with dealing with PM2.5 particles of up to double the safe rate in some areas of the city.
According to the Bangkok Post this morning, the Thai safety limit is 50 microgrammes of pollution particles in the air per cubic meter (µg/m³).
(And do check out the Bangkok Post article, as it has an interesting graphic all about these PM2.5 particles, where they come from, why they are so dangerous and what the government’s short-term solutions have been so far).
Yet, at 6pm last night, levels ranged between 70 and 100 µg/m³, according to readings taken by 10 air quality stations in Bangkok.
That is up to double the safe rate in some areas of the city, and something that is of huge concern to the Thai Pollution Control Department (PCD).
In response, Surasee Kittimonton, the head of the Royal Rainmaking and Agricultural Aviation Department, has said water spraying that has begun today will continue through at least Friday. This will be done via Army BT-67 planes flying high up over the Bangkok metropolitan area.
The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration is also increasing clean up of the city, with special emphasis placed on construction sites, particularly around the BTS sky train construction areas. Bangkokians are also banned from burning anything while this public health crisis is ongoing.
All of this in an effort to prevent more dust particles escaping into the air, and creating even more of a public health concern.
But, while this is most definitely an unhealthy situation for much of Bangkok, and in particular for those people that work outside, there is one positive thing coming from it.
The fact that Thai government officials now seem to be realizing even more than before that finishing the BTS sky train construction to new areas of the city is vital.
And that, once it is complete, they should then be doing everything in their power to encourage as many people as possible to use the new train lines, and to leave their pollution-causing cars at home.