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. 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.