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Thailand Air Pollution problems

Thailand Air Pollution problems

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Old Dec 12, 18, 7:02 am
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Thailand Air Pollution problems

What's the deal with pollution in Thailand?

I see pictures of people wearing masks in the big cities like Bangkok and Chiang Mai.

Is this something to be worried about if i'm there for a month?
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Old Dec 12, 18, 8:37 am
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The air quality in the central areas of Bangkok is pretty bad at street level given the huge amount of traffic snarl and imperfectly maintained engines.

If you were there for a month, I'd invest in some masks if you'll be walking around at street level.

Masks aren't always a sign of bad pollution in Asia, btw. You'll quite often see people wearing them in Japan, for instance, but that's not because of air quality issues.
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Old Dec 12, 18, 5:42 pm
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The very few people I see here daily (in Bangkok) wearing masks probably wear them for all sorts of reasons with air quality being at the bottom of the list, is my guess. At the top of the list: no time for the full make-up treatment? Don the mask.

That said, there is an annual burning season - end of dry season heading into rainy season - where owing to both local and regional burning the air pollution is off the charts. Chiang Mai is often severely impacted (AQI: 150-200), Bangkok less so. February, March and April are the worst.

When (approximate month) will you be in Chiang Mai? At the peak of burning season a mask is of little help to the eyes.

While available here, products like the Nexcare N95 "Haze & Pollution" masks may be in short supply, so maybe bring your own?
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Old Dec 12, 18, 6:54 pm
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As transpac says, it does depend on the reason their wearing the mask.

My experience of Bangkok is pollution can be bad, but actually not much worse than other cities in the region
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Old Dec 13, 18, 5:45 pm
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A mask will help greatly with particulate matter (the result of burning off crops, etc., visible smoke, generally) but not really with gasses like vehicle exhaust fumes.
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Old Dec 13, 18, 8:51 pm
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Originally Posted by Dr. HFH View Post
A mask will help greatly with particulate matter (the result of burning off crops, etc., visible smoke, generally) but not really with gasses like vehicle exhaust fumes.
Much vehicle exhaust (e.g. SO2) is actually particulate in nature for reasons, as a non-chemist, I'm not 100% au fait on...(except e.g. CO, O3). So masks _will_ actually help to some extent...

It should be noted that the vast majority of the world's population live in polluted cities...and I don't think BKK is especially bad on the scale of things...If OP is _that_ concerned about pollution, will severely limit travels outside NA and Europe.

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Old Dec 13, 18, 10:35 pm
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As mentioned upthread, the air here is really bad and filled with smoke particulates during the burning season. At that time, it will often just smell like smoke everywhere.
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Old Dec 16, 18, 3:49 am
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The worst area is Chinatown. Too many cars everywhere, not enough traffic moving. In other areas like Sukhumvit you can get a lot of fumes from walking the sidewalk along the main road, but go a block or two off of it and it's not as bad.
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Old Dec 20, 18, 10:01 pm
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I have no idea what's going on - normally these few weeks around the end of December are clear, crisp, cool and dry - with Thais wearing full-on winter wear as the temp creeps down to 22. However, beginning yesterday we've been covered with a very, very heavy haze, and it is quite warm.

Visibility is ~ 2 Km.



BANGKOK TO HAVE ITSELF A SMOGGY LITTLE CHRISTMAS?

BANGKOK — You better not run; you better not hike; you better not breathe, we’re telling you why – nasty smog has come to town.

It’s time to break out the masks again as heavy smog has returned to the capital just before the long Christmas and New Year’s holidays begin.

As of 10am Friday, Bangkok’s air pollution rose to 184 on an independent international index, a level considered “ unhealthy.” The high levels of ultrafine particles mean active children and adults and people with respiratory diseases are advised to avoid exerting themselves outdoors.

Bangkok to Have Itself a Smoggy Little Christmas?


Seems a bit better today (Saturday).

https://aqicn.org/city/bangkok/


Dangerous haze to linger for 'few days'

https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/general/1598758/dangerous-haze-to-linger-for-few-days

Last edited by transpac; Dec 22, 18 at 3:30 am
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Old Dec 22, 18, 1:26 pm
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So I'm here from the SF area - and had to wear masks there a few weeks ago b/c of the fires - guess I better just get used to it!

Originally Posted by transpac View Post
I have no idea what's going on - normally these few weeks around the end of December are clear, crisp, cool and dry - with Thais wearing full-on winter wear as the temp creeps down to 22. However, beginning yesterday we've been covered with a very, very heavy haze, and it is quite warm.

Visibility is ~ 2 Km.



BANGKOK TO HAVE ITSELF A SMOGGY LITTLE CHRISTMAS?

BANGKOK — You better not run; you better not hike; you better not breathe, we’re telling you why – nasty smog has come to town.

It’s time to break out the masks again as heavy smog has returned to the capital just before the long Christmas and New Year’s holidays begin.

As of 10am Friday, Bangkok’s air pollution rose to 184 on an independent international index, a level considered “ unhealthy.” The high levels of ultrafine particles mean active children and adults and people with respiratory diseases are advised to avoid exerting themselves outdoors.

Bangkok to Have Itself a Smoggy Little Christmas?


Seems a bit better today (Saturday).

https://aqicn.org/city/bangkok/


Dangerous haze to linger for 'few days'

https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/general/1598758/dangerous-haze-to-linger-for-few-days
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Old Jan 14, 19, 6:27 pm
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A lot more people wearing masks these days as the pollution is quite intense. I've tried to limit my time outside as I developed some irritation - throat, eyes.

We're getting some rain this morning, perhaps as a result of the government's efforts to seed the clouds, so that may help in the short-term.

Thursday and Friday are forecast to be quite bad.

https://aqicn.org/city/bangkok/
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Old Jan 14, 19, 11:52 pm
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Yes, despite a short torrential downpour this morning I'm looking out my window at the same hazy (not so comfortable to breath) air
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Old Jan 16, 19, 10:55 am
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apparently you can't just "wash" the fine particles out of the air
https://www.quora.com/Can-rain-wash-...r-a-short-term
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Old Jan 16, 19, 5:49 pm
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I'm no scientist but the rain seems to have helped a bit? At least as far as visibility goes, and we had a bit of a breeze yesterday. It is supposed to be getting a bit hotter as well.

Masks are increasingly hard to find locally, ordered some on Lazada, and seeing more and more people wearing them these days. Children and elderly folks should probably limit their time outside?

Various authorities have indicated that this may be the new normal for Bangkok, as much due to all the construction, as to local burning. That said, half of Cambodia looks to be ablaze, and the prevailing wind, E to W isn't helping.

Bangkok Air Pollution: Real-time PM2.5 Air Quality Index (AQI)

Chiang Mai looks nice, for now.
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Old Jan 16, 19, 5:58 pm
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apparently the wind is the more important factor
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