"Judging from the benzene levels, the quality of air in Bangkok is no different from that of Map Ta Phut"
AIR QUALITY: Benzene poses a major threat by Apinya Wipatayotin
Air pollution in Bangkok has reached critical levels, with hazardous substances up to three times the acceptable standard in some areas, the Pollution Control Department says.
The department yesterday published a report on Bangkok pollution based on studies carried out last year.
Its inspections found worryingly high levels of benzene, a chemical found in petrol and tobacco smoke, in many spots.
The Din Daeng community was found to have the highest benzene levels, at 5.2 microgrammes per cubic metre, compared to the accepted standard of 1.7 mg/cu m.
Chulalongkorn Hospital was also found to have a benzene level exceeding acceptable levels at 4.5 mg cu m, followed by Chokechai Si Road with 3.9mg cu m and Bansomdejchaopraya Rajabhat University with 2.8 mg cu m.
"Judging from the benzene levels, the quality of air in Bangkok is no different from that of Map Ta Phut industrial estate," Pollution Control Department (PCD) deputy chief Wijarn Simachaya said.
But the official believed benzene levels would fall dramatically after the launch of the new EURO 4 fuel formula next January.
EURO 4 petrol should cut benzene emissions from 3.5% to 1%.
Medical studies have tied long-term benzene exposure to the onset of cancer and anaemia.
Benzene exposure is most dangerous when it occurs over a long period of time or when the concentrations are very high.
The PCD also found increasing levels of dust and noise in Din Daeng, as well as along Lat Phrao, Phahon Yothin, Rama IV and Rama VI roads.
Mr Wijarn pledged that pollution control officials and related agencies would work together to bring pollution levels down to a safe standard within five years.
The PCD and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration had jointly drafted a 2012-2016 action plan to tackle air and noise pollution in the city, he said.
The action plan calls for standards on vehicles, such as tyre specifications, to be set to reduce noise levels, said Taluangsak Petchsuwan, director of the PCD's noise and vibration division.
The department would hold talks with car and tyre manufacturers to seek their cooperation to produce environment-friendly vehicles.
The PCD would also ask the Rural Roads Department to use special materials in road construction which could cut noise levels by three decibels, he said.
The average noise level in Bangkok is measured at 84 decibels, against the accepted safe level of 70 decibels.
(Source: Bangkok Post, AIR QUALITY: Benzene poses a major threat, Apinya Wipatayotin, link)
air quality - a measure if the condition of the air, that can be used as a standard of comparison and a warning sign of dangerous air pollution (See Wikipedia)
air pollution - มลพิษทางอากาศ, อากาศเสีย (See Wikipedia)
noise pollution - when there is are high levels of noise in the work and living places that disrupt life (See Wikipedia)
threat - a danger อันตราย
pose a threat - creates a danger
critical - very important, very serious and dangerous อย่างรุนแรง อย่างวิกฤต
hazardous - dangerous, can cause harm, especially to people's health or safety
benzene - a cancer causing chemical found in outside air "from tobacco smoke, wood smoke, automobile service stations, the transfer of gasoline, exhaust from motor vehicles, and industrial emissions" (See Wikipedia)
community - the people living in one particular area ชุมชน
exceeding - passing a limit, going beyond
Map Ta Phut - one of Thailand's largest industrial estates located in Rayong (See interactive map)
industrial estate, industrial park - a special area especially for factories with special facilities (roads, transportation, water, electricity, waste disposal) (See Wikipedia)
deputy - a person who is given the power to do something instead of another person, or the person whose rank is immediately below that of the leader of an organisation รอง, ตัวแทน,ผู้รักษาการแทน
official - approved by the government or some authority ที่เป็นทางการ
dramatically - in a big way อย่างใหญ่หลวง
launch - to start selling a new product or service to the public เริ่มต้น เริ่มโครงการ
fuel - gasoline, petrol (the liquid put in cars, trucks, airplanes to make them go)
formula - a plan, method, rule or list of ingredients (recipe) for solving a problem or achieving a result สูตร
EURO 4 fuel formula - See "Euro 4 emission standards" below
EURO 4 petrol - See "Euro 4 emission standards" below
emission - release into the air and atmosphere of a gas or radiation
Euro 4 emission standards - European Union limits on emissions from road vehicles after 2005 (See Wikipedia on European emission standards and emission standards) มาตราฐานควบคุมการปล่อยของเสียจากเครื่องยนต์ตามมาตราฐานของกลุ่มประเทศในยุโรป
emissions - amounts of gas, heat, light, etc. that are sent out, released into the air by cars and factories, for example การปล่อยออกมา
tied X to Y - found X to cause Y, found a connection between X and then Y
exposure - not covered or protected from harm, runs a risk of being harmed; in a position where you might be harmed or suffer damage
onset - the beginning of something, especially something unpleasant การเริ่มต้น กำเริบ
anaemia - a lack of energy and liveliness, caused by having a low level of red blood cells (See Wikipedia) ความอ่อนแอ, ความอ่อนกำลัง
concentrations - large amounts in a small area (not spread out over a large area)
pledged - seriously promised to do something สาบาน
jointly - done together อย่างร่วมกัน, พร้อมกัน, ด้วยกัน
drafted - to write up an official document
tackle - to make an organised and determine attempt to deal with a problem จัดการ แก้ปัญหา จัดการกับปัญหา
standard - a level of quality or achievement that must be passed to be acceptable มาตรฐาน
vehicles - cars, trucks, buses, machines with an engine used to carry people or goods from place to place ยานพาหนะ
specifications - detailed information about how something is made or done (includes requirements, design, details, features)
vibration - a small fast shaking (back and forth) motion การสั่น
division - one part of a large organisation
talks - negotiations, formal discussions of problems between different sides in a conflict in order to solve the problem
hold talks with - have formal discussions aimed at solving a problem or reaching an agreement
cooperation - work together towards a goal, working together to achieve a result that will benefit all sides ความร่วมมือกัน, ความร่วมมือ, การทำงานร่วมกัน
environment - the natural world of land, sea, plants, and animals; the air, lakes, rivers, the sea...
environment-friendly - does not destroy or harm the environment
rural - in the countryside, far away from cities and towns
construction - the work of building or making something, especially buildings, bridges, etc. การก่อสร้าง
decibel - measure of sound level, ranging from a leaf russling (10 decibels), a TV set (60 decibels), jack hammer (100 decibels) (See Wikipedia and more examples)
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