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Chiang Mai Has Worst Small Particle Pollution In Thailand: Greenpeace

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#1 Flashermac



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Posted 19 May 2017 - 06:15

BANGKOK — Chiang Mai is Thailand’s most-polluted city in terms of dangerously small pollutants which kill tens of thousands in Thailand annually, Greenpeace announced Wednesday.

The northern city, famed for its mountain temples and annual slash-and-burn haze, had the highest levels last year of the fine particulate pollution that’s invisible to the naked eye and can be harmful to human health.

“Chiang Mai, specifically in city district, won because of outdoor burning and transportation within the city,”
Chariya Sempong, climate and energy officer at Greenpeace Southeast Asia, said Thursday.

Most people think the most polluted city is Bangkok, but in Chiang Mai people spray water into the haze so that it drops to the ground and feels less polluted. In fact, the PM 2.5 lingers in the air.”

The study published May 11 looked at particles identified as “PM 2.5,” meaning they are 2.5 micrometers in diameter or smaller and invisible without an electron microscope.

“All the stations measured PM 2.5 levels that exceed world standards,” said Tara Buakamsri, director of Greenpeace Southeast Asia in Thailand said at a Wednesday event promoting the findings. “We ranked the cities so that we could raise awareness of the problem. Isn’t it high time to do something?”

According to the World Health Organization, such pollutants can travel into the respiratory system. Stroke, lung and heart disease can be caused or exacerbated by high levels. Greenpeace reported that in 2015, such pollution killed more than 37,500 people in Thailand.

“They’re smaller than red blood cells, so they can invade any organs the blood reaches, especially the lungs, heart and brain,” Chariya said.

For its report, Greenpeace gathered data from stations in 14 provinces nationwide. While the World Health Organization recommends no more than 10 micrograms of fine particles per cubic meter of air, Greenpeace found levels reach into the high 20s and 30s at all 19 stations.

The most-polluted areas were ranked by which had the highest concentrations over time.

Chiang Mai topped the list with the most number of polluted days, followed by Khon Kaen, Lampang and Bangkok’s Din Daeng district. The least polluted area in Bangkok? In the Phaya Thai district, near BTS Ari.

In Thailand, over half of all micro pollution is caused by outdoor burning. Industrial factories emit the most fine particles (17 percent), followed fossil fuel combustion (13 percent), electrical production (9 percent) and residential and commercial use (7 percent).

All locations tested in Thailand exceeded safe levels. Here’s how they ranked in the Greenpeace report:
  • Chiang Mai

  • Khon Kaen

  • Lampang

  • Bangkok (Din Daeng area)

  • Samut Sakhon

  • Nan

  • Ratchaburi

  • Bangkok (Wang Thonglang)

  • Bangkok (Thonburi)

  • Saraburi

  • Rayong

  • Bangkok (Bang Na)

  • Samut Prakan

  • Chonburi

  • Bangkok (Phaya Thai)

  • Prachinburi

  • Chiang Mai (Chang Phueak district)

  • Songkhla

  • Tak
A happy childhood... is the worst possible preparation for life. - Kinky Friedman

#2 Flashermac



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Posted 19 May 2017 - 06:17

The Thais have really managed to f*ck up what I remember as a beautiful country with blue skies and no pollution.  :(
A happy childhood... is the worst possible preparation for life. - Kinky Friedman

#3 Dexi



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Posted 19 May 2017 - 10:16

Chiang Mai gets a double dose of pollution from burning rice stubble and sugar cane residue as well as the huge amount of traffic in the city.Crossing the road is really taking your life in your hands.As for sitting outside at one of the roadside cafes for a drink - forget it unless you want your eyes turning red and a sore throat from the traffic fumes :sleeping: :nono: :grinyes: The best place in the area is the summit of Doi sutteyp where you can look down on the haze of the city whilst enjoying the clean air.
Only the mediocre are always at their best.

#4 Coss


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Posted 19 May 2017 - 19:22

Yep polluted it is. South East Asia, general terms, quite polluted.

I take issue with "which kill tens of thousands in Thailand annually,"  people have said this about Auckland too. I want to know the names of the killed and what they died of. The data will be extrapolated from other studies.

What they have done is said: if pollution is at 'A' level, then deaths in other studies were A x B = C. Ergo in this Thailand scenario it must be true too.

How do we know these people actually died, and continue to do so annually? :)

Auckland, a city notorious for it's clean air, due to being on an isthmus and having prevailing westerlies that blow the pollution, such as it is, off to the oceanic distances, has a few, very few, still days each year, about May. In these days the air don't move much in the early morning and fog and such pollution there is, can accumulate in low and sheltered spots. It's in these spots, next to motorways that the pollution monitors were placed. The readings from the few still days, "Peak" readings were used to say exactly the same things.

"which kill tens of thousands annually,"  

In a city the size of Auckland, I think we'd notice tens of thousands dying, so I asked then, what are their names.

​I know Thailand, and SEA cities are polluted, this is not good, I just don't think they know how many are dying, they lie.
Yes still wanting to be back in Vientiane, swinging in my hammock, supping ice n beer, in the shade of my Cashew tree.

#5 dean



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Posted 19 May 2017 - 23:50

The general rule of thumb is to avoid C.M. during burning season; February to the end of April.  At least, my house is closer to San Kamphaine than Chiangmai.

#6 Flashermac



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Posted 20 May 2017 - 16:29

When I came to Thailand in early 1970s, one of the top places to dine outdoors was at the Sorn Daeng restaurant opposite Democracy Monument. The air was beautifully clean, and you could watch life pass by as you enjoyed your meal and the ice cold beers. Since one university and several colleges were in the area, it also was a good place for girl watching. But by the late '80s, the pollution was already starting, and in the 1990s the restaurant had to close down. The only alternate was to provide gas masks for the outdoor diners to wear.

As to Chiang Mai, when I went there in the 1970s, pedal samlors were still the preferred method of travel. Even taxis were relatively rare. Nowadays ... well, the mountains outside the city are nice.  :(
A happy childhood... is the worst possible preparation for life. - Kinky Friedman

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