CHIANG RAI, 1 March 2013 The Pollution Control Department (PCD) has issued air quality alerts in the North and warned residents about health risks.
The PCD warned that recent tests found the levels of particulate matter smaller than 10 microns (PM10) in the northern region of Thailand to have exceeded the safety level of 120 micrograms per cubic meter.
Chiang Rai, one of the affected provinces, recently launched a public campaign to combat haze pollution. The campaign was backed by over 1,000 supporters from the private and public sectors.
Chiang Rai Governor Pongsak Wangsamer said the annual haze crisis between February and April has had a negative impact on the tourism, transport and economic sectors of nine northern provinces, which include Phayao, Phrae, Nan and Chiang Rai. In 2012, the PM10 level in Chiang Rai province exceeded the safety standard for 55 consecutive days, reaching as high as 470.8 micrograms per cubic meter.
In a bid to ease the haze problem in the region, the PCD and Chiang Rai authorities urged relevant state agencies to strictly enforce a ban on all burning activities in haze-prone provinces.