Air pollution exceeds health standard around Bangkok

The Pollution Control Department has declared the onset of the smog season and issued stringent measures to address root causes.

The Nation

The Nation



File photo of Bangkok skyline with poor visibility due to air pollution. PHOTO: THE NATION

January 9, 2024

BANGKOK – GISTDA, or the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency under the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research, and Innovation

A “red condition” meaning that the health-impacting threshold level was exceeded were found in three provinces: Samut Songkhram at 112.3 micrograms, Samut Sakhon at 92.7 micrograms and Nakhon Pathom at 76.7 micrograms.

Other nearby provinces also had high levels:

Don Mueang at 70 micrograms, Lak Si at 69.6 micrograms and Non Khaem at 62.3 micrograms.

The GTSDA collaborates with the National Research Council, the Pollution Control Department, Kasetsart University, and Chiang Mai University to monitor the level of particulate matter hourly using satellite data. Their “Check the Dust” application at 8am on January 8, 2024 showed unhealthy levels.

The Pollution Control Department has declared the onset of the smog season and issued stringent measures to address root causes.

Additionally, 38 other provinces have exceeded the standard at a level starting to impact health, with the top five being:

Ratchaburi: 71.4 micrograms

Ang Thong: 70.7 micrograms

Chai Nat: 70.4 micrograms

Sing Buri: 67.1 micrograms

Nonthaburi: 64.0 micrograms.

The ‘Check the Dust’ mobile application also forecast PM2.5 levels for the following three hours, indicating that several areas will remain at a level starting to impact health, indicated by “orange” conditions.

The app employs satellite technology together with AI for an hourly PM2.5 analysis nationwide, using data from Pollution Control Department measurements, meteorological data from the Meteorological Department, and data on smog origins such as hotspots, among other data. The results are presented in numeric and colour-coded formats for user understanding.

Furthermore, according to hotspot data reported by GISTDA on January 7, there were 217 hotspots nationwide, predominantly in agricultural areas (97 spots), followed by SPAC areas (40 spots), national parks (39 spots), communities and others (28 spots), highway outskirts (8 spots), and conservation forests (5 spots).

The provinces with the highest number of hotspots are Lopburi (30 spots), followed by Khon Kaen (17 spots) and Chonburi (12 spots).

Neighbouring countries are also experiencing high levels of particulate matter. Neighbouring countries with the most hotspots are Cambodia (812 spots), followed by Myanmar (391 spots), Laos (99 spots), and Vietnam (81 spots).

People are advised to wear masks when outdoors to prevent potential health issues, especially respiratory-related illnesses. PM2.5 data can be easily tracked by interested citizens via the “Check the Dust” mobile app, which is available for download on both IOS and Android systems.

scroll to top