Levels of ultra-fine dust, known as PM2.5, have been either moderate or unhealthy in recent days in some areas of Bangkok and several other provinces, according to the Ministry of Public Health.
People, particularly those with chronic diseases, are advised to check the air quality before leaving their homes or engaging in outdoor activities, the ministry advises.
Fine-dust pollution is a seasonal phenomenon that has been blamed mainly on crop burning that takes place during the cool season. Vehicle emissions are also a major contributor.
The Ministry of Public Health monitors PM2.5 readings so that it can issue health warnings when necessary, says Dr Opas Karnkawinpong, permanent secretary for public health.
According to the air quality website of the Pollution Control Department, PM2.5 levels in certain provinces — particularly in the Northeast such as Nakhon Phanom, Mukdahan, Yasothon, Nong Khai and Ubon Ratchathani — are now at the moderate (yellow) level or unhealthy (orange) level.
In Bangkok, unhealthy levels were reported in several areas, including Kanchanaphisek Road in Bang Khun Thian district; Din Daeng Road in Din Daeng; Khlong Kum area in Bueng Kum; Charan Sanitwong Road in Bang Phlat; Thung Wat Don area in Sathon; and Charoen Nakhon Road in Khlong San district.
Dr Opas said that before leaving their homes or participating in outdoor activities, people should check PM2.5 levels using the Air4Thai mobile application or visit the Pollution Control Department’s Air4Thai website. They can also visit https://pm25gistda.or.th to assess air quality levels:
- Blue (very good): No health risk.
- Green (moderate): No health risk.
- Yellow (unhealthy): People with respiratory disorders should avoid outdoor exercise, while children and the elderly should limit outdoor time.
- Orange (very unhealthy): People with respiratory tract disorders should avoid outdoor activities. Children and the elderly should restrict outdoor time.
- Red (hazardous): Outdoor exercise should be avoided, and individuals with respiratory tract disorders should stay indoors.