Air quality in Chiang Mai worsens

An aerial view shows smog covering the city of Chiang Mai. (Photo: Chanat Katanyu)
An aerial view shows smog covering the city of Chiang Mai. (Photo: Chanat Katanyu)

The air quality in Chiang Mai has continued to deteriorate over the past several days due to wildfires spreading in the province, according to local authorities.

The province has the most hotspots in the northern region and is ranked among the cities with the poorest air quality in the world. The city's downtown area has been shrouded by heavy smog every day over the past month.

The province's Wildfire and Pollution Control Command Centre reported 52 additional hotspots in Chiang Mai yesterday morning, on top of the 166 hotspots detected by the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Agency (Gistda) on Sunday.

The news came despite Chiang Mai's Wildfire and Pollution Control Command Centre reporting a reduction in burning activities in the province.

The province's six air quality monitoring stations -- three in Muang district and one each in Chiang Dao, Hot and Mae Chaem districts -- recorded unhealthy levels of PM2.5 in the air, with readings ranging from 53.3 microgrammes per cubic metre (μg/m³) to 102.7 μg/m³.

Any PM2.5 reading higher than the safe threshold of 37.5 μg/m³ is considered unhealthy.

According to the air quality monitoring website, Chiang Mai's air quality index reached 161 while its PM2.5 level measured 74.1 μg/m³ at 10am yesterday, making it the world's fourth most polluted city.

Chiang Mai regularly appeared on the list of the world's most polluted cities between April 1 and 29 this year, the website's data showed.

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  • despite (prep): used to show that something happened or is true although something else might have happened to prevent it; used to show that somebody did not intend to do the thing mentioned - ถึงอย่างไรก็ตาม, ทั้ง ๆ ที่
  • detected: noticed, discovered or found out - จับได้ พบได้
  • deteriorate: to become worse - เลวร้ายลง
  • hotspot: a place where there is a lot of activity, or a higher temperature than normal -
  • 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 -
  • polluted: (of water, air, land) having dirty or harmful substances so that it is no longer pleasant or safe to use - ซึ่งเป็นมลพิษ
  • shroud: to hide something by covering or surrounding it - ซ่อน, คลุม
  • smog (noun): clouds of dirty and smokey air - หมอกควัน, ควัน, ควันพิษ,
  • threshold: the level or point at which you start to experience something, or at which something starts to happen - จุดเริ่มของประสบการณ์หรือเหตุการณ์ใหม่ๆ
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