By Matichon and Thai Newsroom Reporters
WITH AIR quality having deteriorated in Bangkok and many others parts of the country over the past few days amid a forecast of the impact continuing over the next three days, Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt said today (Feb. 4) the situation will improve if everyone cooperates.
At 5 p.m. today a real-time air quality information platform operated by IQAir, a Swiss pollution technology company, said the PM.2.5 pollution level in Bangkok was 66 US AQI, which is a moderate range.
However company forecasts increased concentration of the hazardous airborne particles during the next three days reaching 113, 121 and 108 US AQI respectively with this being unhealthy for sensitive groups.
Yesterday too the pollution level in the metropolis was in a moderate range, measuring 95 US AQI, but on Feb. 1 and 2 it was 165 and 166 US AQI respectively, which is an unhealthy range.
Chadchart said today that the situation had improved as had been expected with increased humidity.
He pointed to three sources of PM2.5 pollutant with the first being traffic which brings in 30 micrograms per cubic metre of pollution, temperature inversion adds another 30 µg/m3, and biomass burning in the provinces takes it to 90 µg/m3.
BMA is now trying to control the first 30 µg/m3 by encouraging people to work from home and in future the increased use of private and public electric vehicles will bring it down further.
“I believe that long term the air pollution problem will improve if there is cooperation and everyone follows a national plan. The good point is that the weather forecast is now accurate and people get to know the PM2.5 level in the morning and can plan accordingly,” he said.
Regarding spraying water to reduce dust, Chadchart said some people want it done but others oppose it.
There was a test with a sprinkler vehicle purchased two years ago at Benjakitti Park. It was found that before the sprinkling started the reading was 160 US AQI but while it was being done this reduced to 97 so the moisture did help.
However as soon as spraying stopped it again climbed up as high as at the outset.
Nevertheless Chadchart said spraying will be done at certain places where there are fire hydrants, such as schools, as this does not cost a lot to carry out.
Bangkok Governor talking about air pollution today. Both photo: Matichon