Killer smog blankets Bangkok as Thailand issues health warnings

Killer smog blankets Bangkok as Thailand issues health warnings

Killer smog blankets Bangkok as Thailand issues health warnings

Environment secretary Michael Gove, due to announce the government's new clean air strategy today, wants us to keep the home fires burning without particulate matter - considered the most harmful pollutant.

The Government's Clean Air Strategy includes plans to ban the sale of the most polluting fuels by 2022.

These include increasingly popular domestic burning on stoves and open fires, now the single biggest source of particulate matter emissions in Britain.

Amid worries that prolonged exposure to a cloud of PM2.5 (airborne dust particles 2.5 microns in diameter or less) will lead to a spike in health conditions and diseases in the long run, Rungsrit Kanjanavanit, a medical lecturer at Chiang Mai University, urged relevant agencies to tackle air pollution at its root.

'We must take strong, urgent action, ' said Mr Gove.

"The authorities must ensure clean air for everyone, or at least they should improve their strategies to protect people from air pollution and raise public awareness on this risky threat to their health".

Our future agriculture policy will involve financial rewards and incentives to help farmers reduce their ammonia emissions. 'Our ambitious strategy includes new targets, new powers for local government and confirms that our forthcoming Environment Bill will include new primary legislation on air quality.

Bangkok's air has become a "serious threat" to health as the levels of pollution caused by a smog cloud over the city soared and was in some parts eight times higher than safe level.

The Pollution Control Department (PCD) should warn people on an hourly basis about air pollution, especially to protect vulnerable groups such as elderly people, children and sick people, and also adjust the country's PM2.5 safety standards to align with that of the WHO, Rungsrit said.

Readings taken by 10 air quality stations around Bangkok showed PM2.5 levels in the city ranged between 70 and 100 µg/m³, the Bangkok Post reported.

"We have made strides forward over the past few years and the action we are taking today will save lives and improve the health of the nation - both for those of us here today and for generations to come".

"However, we're disappointed that it doesn't include a clear commitment to adopt the World Health Organization limits for particulate matter pollution in the upcoming Environment Bill".

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