Concern over pollution in Thailand and other countries in the region

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Due to the lingering smog in large parts of Thailand, more and more people are in need of medical attention. The Thai Ministry of Health announced that nearly 200,000 new patients had been hospitalized this week alone. Since the start of the month, more than five million people have been diagnosed with illnesses directly linked to massive air pollution. Many suffered from respiratory problems.

Pollution continues to rage

In 2021, air pollution was estimated to be responsible for the deaths of more than 29,000 people in the country, and in 2022 the average Thai resident was exposed to four times the amount of 2.5 polluting particles, or PM2.5 than is considered safe by the World Health Organization. Experts say pollution reduces average life expectancy by nearly two years. “There is growing evidence of the harmful effects of air pollution, particularly the effects on physical health of the non-respiratory and cardiovascular systems and mental health,” said Jaee Nikam, associate researcher at the “ Stockholm Environment Institute Asia »

Between exhaust fumes and burning fields

Bangkok has eleven million inhabitants and attracts tourists from all over the world. The capital is suffocating with exhaust from vehicles and industry as well as smoke produced when harvested fields are burned. This is the season when farmers burn the fields after harvesting. It is a tradition in Thailand, but also in neighboring countries such as Burma, Cambodia and Laos. At the end of the dry season, farmers burn their fields to rid them of weeds. Between January and March, there are therefore often high levels of fine particles.

15 provinces, especially in the north of the country, are particularly affected

Dangerous levels of fine dust also prevail in the tourist stronghold of Chiang Mai. Emergency medical services have been set up in all regions. Children, pregnant women, the elderly and people with respiratory and heart conditions were asked to stay indoors. Everyone who left the house should wear protective masks, the doctor working at the Ministry of Health Kriangkrai Namthaisong warned. Air purifiers for apartments were partially exhausted in Bangkok

Bangkok tries to phase out cars with high CO² emissions

During similar levels of air pollution in late January and early February, authorities in Bangkok urged residents to work from home. A spokesman for Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt said a similar order would be issued if the situation continued to deteriorate. Before his election last May, Chadchart promised to improve environmental conditions in Bangkok.

Checkpoints have been set up in the city to remove vehicles with particularly high exhaust emissions from the road. So-called dust-free zones have been set up in state nurseries, i.e. rooms equipped with air purifiers.

Pollution in Beijing

The 10 most polluted cities in the world

according to the index

Beijing (Beijing – China)

Chiang Mai (Thailand)

Yangon (Burma)

Bangkok (Thailand)

Mumbai (India)

Incheon (South Korea)

Kolkata (India)

Kathmandu (Nepal)

Dhaka (Bangladesh)

Shenyang, (China)

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