Pattaya’s bad air hits red zone

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Pattaya’s air quality reached hazardous levels Monday, crossing 200 on the Air Quality Index.

Pattaya’s air quality reached hazardous levels Monday, crossing 200 on the Air Quality Index as weather conditions parked a cloud of smog over a city normally cooled by an ocean breeze.



The AQI, which gauges particulate matter 2.5 microns or smaller, rates good air at 50 or less, with the “yellow zone” set at 51-100 and orange at 101-200. Pattaya hit the red zone, commonplace for Bangkok and industrial cities but very rare for coastal cities like Pattaya.

Dr. Kitjakan Janda, a physician with Jomtien Hospital, said red-zone air puts those with chronic diseases and respiratory conditions at serious risk. PM 2.5 is dangerous because it cannot be filtered out by the human respiratory system and particles containing deadly cadmium, mercury and heavy metals can become embedded in the lungs.

Dr. Kitjakan Janda, a physician with Jomtien Hospital, said red-zone air puts those with chronic diseases and respiratory conditions at serious risk. Seniors and children should remain indoors and N95-certified face masks are recommended for those outside.


PM 2.5 is dangerous because it cannot be filtered out by the human respiratory system and particles containing deadly cadmium, mercury and heavy metals can become embedded in the lungs, he said.


The AQI, which gauges particulate matter 2.5 microns or smaller, rates Pattaya air at 200, in the danger zone.



Part of the pollution comes from outdoor crop burning prevalent this time of year.



Heavy traffic is another cause of the problem.



The current situation is unusual for a coastal city, as usually the pollution is carried away by ocean breezes.



Weather conditions have parked a cloud of smog over a city normally cooled by an ocean breeze.