Dust alert in all eight of Thailand’s northern provinces

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BANGKOK, Mar 23 – The haze and dust situation in Thailand’s eight northern provinces may worsen, while Mae Hong Son residents were instructed to stay indoor and wear protective masks when going outdoor.

Nopporn Cheanklin, deputy director general of the Disease Control Department, said the level of small dust particles and haze in Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phayao, Mae Hong Son, Lamphun, Lampang, Phrae and Nan may escalate but the situation should improve soon, as slash and burn for farming will be reduced in April.

The dust particle level in Mae Hong Son was measured at 428 microgrammes/cubic metre, Phrae was 236 microgrammes/cubic metre, and Chiang Mai was 200 microgrammes/cubic metre. The standard maximum safe level is 120 microgrammes/cubic metre.

Dr Nopporn said excessive dust particles will affect people suffering from respiratory problems or physical weakness as it lowers the volume of oxygen in the body and leads to eye, throat, respiratory, heart and circulatory problems.

He told people in the northern provinces to wear masks and spray water on rooftop to flush away dust.

Hospitals in the eight provinces of the North have treated 1,371 patients with eye infections, 16,977 patients with heart ailments and 22,644 patients with respiratory disease.