The Center for Air Pollution Mitigation has asked all provinces to ban outdoor burning from now until 23rd January, while the air quality index in Bangkok has reached the code-red unhealthy level in several areas.
The Pollution Control Department’s Director General Athapol Charoenchansa, confirmed the amount of PM 2.5 airborne particulate matter had reached the red unhealthy level in five precincts of the Bangkok metropolitan area.
The unhealthy air quality readings were recorded on Friday by air quality sensors near Kanchanaphisek road in Bang Khun Thian district; in Khlong Sam Wa district; by Phet Kasem 81 or Ma Charoen road in Nong Khaem district; in Bang Sao Thong subdistrict of Samut Prakan, and Mahachai subdistrict of Samut Sakhon.
The Center for Air Pollution Mitigation has coordinated with all provinces to prevent outdoor burning activities on 20-23 January to reduce smoke emissions, as the low pressure system prevailing over Thailand at this time promotes the accumulation of airborne dust.
The Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment, Varawut Silpa-archa said today the air quality crisis in Bangkok is not the result of the accumulation of PM 2.5 particles alone, but PM 10 and smoke from burning activities as well.
He has advised the general public to wear a mask at all times to protect themselves from the pollution and help with COVID-19 prevention, and to avoid going outdoors until the situation improves.
Schools, many of which are still closed due to the new wave of COVID-19 cases, may consider postponing their reopening date should the air quality remain poor, while farmers are encouraged to use their farm waste as fuel or sell it instead of burning it off, in an effort to reduce smoke emissions from burning. (NNT)