'Dust dome' blamed for haze

'Dust dome' blamed for haze

A visitor on Thursday relaxes at Chatuchak Park, which is among 20 public parks installed with a machine that delivers a real-time gauge of air quality in Bangkok. (Photo: Arnun Chonmahatrakool)
A visitor on Thursday relaxes at Chatuchak Park, which is among 20 public parks installed with a machine that delivers a real-time gauge of air quality in Bangkok. (Photo: Arnun Chonmahatrakool)

The drop in air quality across Bangkok over the past week is caused by an urban "dust dome" over the city.

The haze which has covered Bangkok over the past four to five days wasn't just caused by PM2.5 dust, as the amount of larger PM10 pollutants and greenhouse gases has also soared.

These pollutants, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa said, are the result of the burning of farming waste around the city's northern outskirts.

The minister said he has asked provincial governors to ask farmers in their area to avoid burning farm waste.

He also asked them to consider imposing a ban on outdoor burning if the farmers refuse to cooperate.

Schools will be allowed to delay their reopening if the haze problem in their area continues to deteriorate, he added.

He also encouraged Bangkok residents to avoid outdoor activities and keep their masks on while outside, to prevent health problems from PM2.5 as well as Covid-19.

PM2.5 levels in the capital were between 51-89 microgrammes per cubic metre (μg/m³); 69 areas in the city reported PM2.5 levels over the safe limit, which is set by the government at 50μg/m³.

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Vocabulary

  • cooperate: to work with other people to achieve a result that is good for everyone involved - ร่วมมือกัน
  • delay (verb): to do something later than is planned or expected; to cause something to happen at a later time - เลื่อน, เลื่อนเวลา
  • deteriorate: to become worse - เลวร้ายลง
  • dome: a rounded roof on a building or a room, or a building with such a roof - หลังคารูปทรงกลม
  • greenhouse gases (noun): the gases that are thought to cause the greenhouse effect, especially carbon dioxide - แก๊ซที่ทำให้เกิดภาวะเรือนกระจก
  • haze: water, smoke or dust in the air that makes it difficult to see clearly - หมอกควัน
  • PM2.5 (n): atmospheric particulate matter (PM) with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometres, which is about 3% the diameter of a human hair. It can lodge in the lungs and enter blood vessels, leading to respiratory and cardiovascular disease -
  • soar: to rise very quickly to a high level - มีความหวังสูง,พุ่งพรวดขึ้น
  • waste (noun): the useless part that is thrown away after something is used - ขยะ, ของเสีย, ที่ไม่มีประโยชน์, การสูญเสียไปโดยเปล่าประโยชน์, การหมดเปลือง
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