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To use some examples of the US AQI readings present in Songkhla, as of late July 2022, some figures will be cited. It is important to note that these are updated regularly, and should thus be checked as the figures cited here will fluctuate by significant amounts over a year. US AQI readings in mid-2022 include ones such as 29 and 45, which both fall into the 'good' air quality rating bracket for the pollution map. This is the most optimal level of air quality, with any reading below 50 on the US AQI scale falling into this bracket. Whilst both are good, the reading of 45 is not far off from moving up to the next pollution bracket, that of the 'moderate' one (51 to 100 US AQI required).
Observing the air quality maps daily in Songkhla, or even multiple times throughout the day may help to prevent any number of health issues, some of which will be covered in the following question. By seeing the air pollution levels on the map above, certain safety measures may be implemented, such as closing doors and windows during periods of higher pollution (particularly if users live in an area that is currently experiencing higher air pollution levels), as well as wearing fine particle filtering masks, and avoiding any strenuous outdoor activity such as jogging or other forms of exercise, which can increase respiration rate and thus cause individuals to breathe in far more pollutants, which can get lodged deep within the tissue of the lungs.
When the air pollution levels are high in certain areas throughout the air quality map for Songkhla, there may be many negative health effects that come with sustained breathing of the air in these locations. To give a few examples, irritation to the skin and mucous membranes can occur, which may cause increased cases of acne, aggravation of eczema and psoriasis, as well as irritation to the mouth, nose, eyes ears and upper respiratory tract. Throat infections can occur, as well as deeper chest infections that can certainly have dangerous implications for more at-risk individuals, such as the elderly or those who are prone to such infections (particularly in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, where lung and chest health has become of higher concern amongst many people, especially for those that were affected by the virus).
Other health issues (for the sake of informative purposes) that the air quality map in Songkhla may help to reduce the effects of, or outright avoid, are increased risk of heart attacks, stroke and arrhythmias. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can also be avoided, or for those that suffer from any of the ailments that fall under the COPD bracket, the effects once again lessened. These are but a few of the health issues that can be avoided by viewing which areas on the air pollution map in Songkhla are the most highly polluted, and taking appropriate steps to avoid them when possible.
As mentioned numerous times above, Songkhla and its air quality map stick to using the US AQI figure throughout the various air pollution monitoring stations. The relevant city page for Songkhla will also show the US AQI readings as an average spread throughout the whole city, giving a decent overview of total pollution levels. The advantage in the air quality map or pollution map pages is that they show exactly which areas have the highest levels of air pollution present in the form of a US AQI reading. Whilst this reading itself and the number of different categories for them can keep users well informed about how dangerous the air quality is at any given time (with plain and easy-to-understand classes such as good, moderate, unhealthy for sensitive groups and unhealthy all being quite indicative of what the air pollution levels can do to the health of those who are exposed to pollutants in such areas), it is also useful to know what goes into forming this US AQI figure, so that one may get an even better understanding of what they are breathing when they are in an area that shows high pollution reading on the air quality map for Songkhla.
The US AQI reading is aggregated from the several most prominent pollutants found in the air both in Thailand and throughout the rest of the world, typically being released from the most common pollution sources. Furthermore, some of the pollutants within this US AQI aggregation are a category of pollutants in themselves, which means that many different types of materials that can come from a myriad of sources can work their way into the US AQI reading seen above on the map, depending on whether they meet the criteria or not. In the case of the US AQI figure, it would be the size of a polluting particle that determines whether or not it is utilized in the calculation. The main pollutants that are a form of chemical compounds used in the US AQI reading on the air quality map above for Songkhla include ones such as carbon monoxide, ozone, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide. Ozone itself can be formed from different gases and various pollutants, requiring higher levels of solar radiation to cause a chemical reaction to take place in which ozone, or smog as it is more commonly known is formed. Ozone constitutes a valuable part of the upper atmosphere, which most will have heard of already as the ozone layer. However, on ground level it can be a highly dangerous pollutant, depending on how much of it there is in the air. it can often be seen visibly on roads that have high levels of traffic, particularly when sunlight levels are high. In major cities, it will be found in higher concentrations, and on certain, extra sunny days of the year in cities such as Bangkok it may be seen visibly accumulating around the roads within the city, with the large amounts of noxious exhaust fumes and pollutants being given off by cars and other vehicles all aiding in its formation (along with the solar rays).
Other pollutants, which were touched on briefly earlier although not by name, that go into forming the US AQI figure for the air quality maps are PM10 and PM2.5. PM10, the larger of the two, is any material that is 10 micrometers or less in diameter, and generally constitutes the larger or more coarse particles that can be found in the air such as dust, sand, gravel and other such materials. PM2.5 on the other hand, is the far more dangerous of the two, with any material that is 2.5 micrometers or less falling into this bracket. The extremely small size allows it to penetrate the blood barrier when breathed, thus entering into the bloodstream of those who are exposed to such ultrafine pollutants. This can lead to many long, or short-term effects, some of which were mentioned above in the section on health issues caused by pollution in Songkhla. Materials that can regularly fall into the particulate matter pollution bracket include ones such as bacteria, mold spores, metals, nitrates and sulfates, along with any other extra fine particles of dust such as silica or black carbon, which have fairly prominent carcinogenic effects. As such, whilst the air quality map for Songkhla only shows the pollution readings in the form of a US AQI level, with this new knowledge, individuals can know what they are potentially being exposed to when they are in areas that have vastly elevated US AQI readings on the pollution map above, which can reinforce how important it is to avoid such areas if and when possible.