BANGKOK, 21 February 2014 The Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM), within the Ministry of Interior, reported that there was dust in the air in the northern part of the country, with a 24-hour average of 13-97 micrograms per cubic meter.
Overall, air quality level is good to moderate with Lampang recording the highest amount of dust in the air, and levels did not change from yesterday. DDPM directed people living in northern provinces to stop burning to reduce the amount of dust and haze in the air in order to the haze from creating a crisis in the area.
Mr. Chatchai Promlert, Director General of the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM), said that the areas with the highest amount of dust in the air were found at a meteorological station in Lampang that recorded a PM10 (particulate matter) value of 97 micrograms per cubic meter, and an air quality index value of 86. Ban Sop Pat Health Promotion Hospital, Lampang, endured a PM10 value of 96 micrograms per cubic meter and an air quality index value of 85. The Mae Moh Provincial Waterworks Authority, Lampang, incurred a PM10 value of 84 micrograms per cubic meter with an air quality index value of 78.
All sectors have joined forces to prepare equipment in order to control the wildfires and subsequent haze. For people living in the areas covered with haze, it is recommended that they should avoid being in the open air for a long time because they will inhale a lot of dust into the body and that may cause illness, especially in young children, elderly and those with underlying diseases.
They should also cover their mouths and noses with a handkerchief or sanitary mask to prevent inhalation of dust into the bod. Residents in the area are advised to avoid activities which are risk factors in increasing the quantity of haze in the air such as garbage burning, candle and even joss stick lighting and smoking.
People affected by haze and dust problems can ask for help at the Center for Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, the Provincial Office of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation and local Provincial Office of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation or call Hotline 1784 for 24 hours.