Thursday, July 9, 2020
Home Environment Thailand’s Prime Minister Urge Residents of Bangkok to Wear Face Masks after...

Thailand’s Prime Minister Urge Residents of Bangkok to Wear Face Masks after Smog Cover Parts of Capital

He also asked the construction and manufacturing sectors to reduce activities that release pollutants

Thailand’s prime minister urged residents of Bangkok to wear face masks on Monday after smog covered parts of the capital in what some fear is a harbinger of more pollution to come.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha warned in a statement on his Facebook page that the concentration of tiny dust particles called PM2.5 in the air had reached unsafe levels and said he has ordered government agencies to expedite anti-pollution measures. He also asked the construction and manufacturing sectors to reduce activities that release pollutants.

Smog levels are expected to stay high for the next two or three days.

The head of the country’s Pollution Control Department, Pralong Damrongthai, said the visibly dirty air was not caused by smoke originating from forest fires in Indonesia. Since last month, haze blown by monsoon winds from fires in Indonesia has affected nearby countries including the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia and parts of southern Thailand, raising concerns about aviation safety and health.

Thailand, Prime Minister, Bangkok
Thailand’s prime minister urged residents of Bangkok to wear face masks on Monday after smog covered parts of the capital in what some fear is a harbinger of more pollution. Pixabay

Indonesian officials say they have made progress in containing the fires, including successful efforts at rainmaking, which they say reduced the number of fire “hotspots” from more than 5,000 about two weeks ago to 491 on Sunday.

Thailand’s Pralong told Thai PBS television that the problem in Bangkok is due to still air and high humidity becoming loaded with ultrafine dust from vehicle emissions, construction sites and other pollutants. He said it was then trapped close to the ground by a blanket of warm air in what meteorologists call an inversion.

Thailand’s government has set a safe level of 50 micrograms of PM2.5 per cubic meter of air, although other countries have lower limits. The Pollution Control Department’s website put Monday’s level as high as 79 micrograms.

PM2.5 particulates are small enough to be sucked deep into the lungs and enter the bloodstream, and can cause respiratory problems and may raise risks of cardiovascular disease and cancers.

Also Read- Small Section of Melting Italian Glacier Picks Up Speed

It’s the second time this year Bangkok has been blanketed with a cocktail of pollutants. Smog levels also spiked back in January.

Pralong acknowledged the pollution levels might shoot up again in January and February, during the dry season, when farmers burn fields to make way for new planting, another factor that contributes to the problem. He said his department and other units are preparing more stringent measures to better handle the problem than earlier this year.

As the noxious smog settled over Bangkok, many residents fished out masks from drawers and went about their business.

“A lot of my friends are saying they come to the office, their noses are running. Their eyes really hurt. All of them are really coughing today. It’s not normal anymore,” said Piyavathara Natthadana, an office worker who was wearing a mask.

Thailand, Prime Minister, Bangkok
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha warned in a statement on his Facebook page that the concentration of tiny dust particles called PM2.5 in the air had reached unsafe levels. Pixabay

“There’s not much we can do. We have to monitor the news and protect ourselves,” said Chakrapong Sanguanjit, another Bangkok resident walking downtown with a mask on.

Some environmentalists blamed the government for failing to act fast enough, despite being well aware of the issues.

Also Read- Researchers to Figure Out Mechanism of Aging Process to Find Ways to Help People Stay Healthy for Longer

“The cause of the problem is the same. The sources of the pollution are the same. But measures to control the sources of pollution are not implemented yet because they said that takes time,” said Tara Buakamsri of the environmental group Greenpeace. (VOA)

STAY CONNECTED

18,993FansLike
362FollowersFollow
1,781FollowersFollow

Most Popular

‘HotShots’, TikTok-like Short Video App by Ganna

Joining the short-video making app race, music streaming service Gaana on Wednesday launched HotShots - a platform to create and share short viral videos...

Foods that will Help Improve Your Sleep

There is a strong correlation between sleep quality and dietary patterns. High intake of confectionary and noodles was associated with poor sleep quality, whereas...

Here’s How Remdesivir Can Save Lives in Nations with Lower Hospital Capacity

Amid news that the US has bought up virtually the entire global supply of remdesivir, a new study outlines how the drug could save...

Instagram brings TikTok-like Feature to India

With the ban on TikTok creating a huge vacuum for the 15-second videos in the Indian Internet space, Facebook-owned Instagram on Wednesday announced the...

Smartphones not a Barrier to Parenting: Research

Parents may worry that spending time on their smartphones has a negative impact on their relationships with their children, however, a new study found...

Meditation Increases Immunity, says Research

Heartfulness meditation improves immunity against infections and cancer and is an effective adjunct in the treatment of several autoimmune disorders, a study said. In the...

Here Are Some Precautions to Take While Dining Out Amid Pandemic

There is some risk, but health officials say there are precautions you can take to minimize the chances you'll be exposed to the virus. Ordering...

High BP Medications May Also Reduce Colorectal Cancer Risk

Researchers have now claimed that medications commonly prescribed to treat high blood pressure may also reduce patients' colorectal cancer risk. Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor (ACE-i)...

Recent Comments