PM2.5 levels rank Bangkok the 9th most polluted city

Bangkok and Chiang Mai were ranked as the ninth and 21st most polluted cities in the world respectively on Feb 15, according to air-quality monitoring website IQAir.

The Nation

The Nation



The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration urged residents to avoid outdoor activities and wear facemasks when going outside. PHOTO: THE NATION

February 15, 2024

BANGKOK – Bangkok registered an air quality index of 162 on Thursday, compared with 109 for Chiang Mai.

The scale has six categories: 0-50 (good air quality), 51-100 (intermediate), 101-150 (unhealthy for some groups), 151-200 (unhealthy), 201-300 (very unhealthy), and over 301 (hazardous).

The 10 cities with the worst air pollution in the world as of 9am according to IQAir were:

1. Dhaka, Bangladesh – 266

2. Delhi, India – 222

3. Karachi, Pakistan – 183

4. Lahore, Pakistan – 183

5. Kolkata, India – 182

6. Mumbai, India – 173

7. Katmandu, Nepal – 165

8. Yangon, Myanmar – 162

9. Bangkok, Thailand – 162

10. Kabul, Afghanistan – 161

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) announced on Thursday that PM2.5 readings exceeded 75 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m³) in 17 districts of Bangkok, double Thailand’s safety standard of 37.5µg/m³ for a 24-hour average.

PM2.5 refers to dust particles 2.5 micrometres or less in diameter, long-term exposure to which is linked with chronic diseases including lung and heart problems.

The BMA urged residents of Khlong Toei, Khlong San, Khlong Sam Wa, Taling Chan, Thawi Watthana, Thonburi, Bangkok Noi, Bang Khen, Bang Bon, Bang Phlat, Bang Rak, Bueng Kum, Pathum Wan, Prawet, Yannawa, Nong Chok and Din Daeng districts to avoid outdoor activities and wear facemasks when going outside.

On Wednesday, city governor Chadchart Sittipunt told BMA officials to work from home on Thursday and Friday to minimise health impacts and to reduce pollution from traffic emissions. BMA has also called on its 150-plus agencies and private partners in Bangkok to consider allowing their staff to work from home until the weekend.

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