Bangkok chokes again on hazardous haze
Haze in Bangkok containing dust particles reached 82 microgrammes per cubic metre Monday, exceeding safe limits, according to the Pollution Control Department.
The department on Monday reported four locations in the city affected by airborne particulates that exceeded the safe limit of of 50 μg/m3.
Levels of dust were measured at 82 μg/m3 along Intharaphithak Road, 68 μg/m3 in Wang Thonglang district and 63 μg/m3 along Rama IV and Lat Phrao Roads.
The airborne particulates tended to increase as a result of gusty winds and temperatures dropping to 19C-20C, the department said. Patients suffering from respiratory and cardiovascular diseases were advised to wear masks if they head outdoors.
Also Monday, the Public Health Ministry intensified preventive measures against annual haze across the upper North to reduce health risks caused by air pollution.
Health Department director-general Wachira Pengchan said the measures would be implemented in eight northern provinces.
They are Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Mae Hong Son, Lampang, as well as Lamphun, Phayao, Prae, and Nan.
Local public health agencies were told to work closely with the public in the provinces which tend to face air pollution caused by slash-and-burn activities by farmers from January to April every year.
People's health can be badly affected by harmful haze, Mr Wachira said.
He was speaking at a meeting discussing public health policy against haze in Phayao on Monday.
The meeting was also attended by over 100 officials attached to local public health agencies from the eight provinces.
Health risk assessments must be conducted to provide proper healthcare and preventive measures, he said. Public awareness about haze must be also improved, he added.
Kraisook Phetcharaburanin, a doctor at the Phayao Provincial Public Health Office, said the eight provinces have suffered from haze related air pollution since 2002.
According to the Chiang Mai-based Office of Disease Prevention and Control 1, the upper North saw the highest number of cardiovascular diseases and respiratory illness cases caused by dust particles.
- Earlier report: Bangkok pollution 'at unhealthy levels'