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|1||Mae Hong Son, Mae Hong Son|
|2||Phan, Chiang Rai|
|4||Wiang Chai, Chiang Rai|
|6||Chiang Rai, Chiang Rai|
|7||Mae Fa Luang, Chiang Rai|
|8||Pai, Mae Hong Son|
(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
|1||Prem International School 2|
|2||Don Kaeo Village 7|
(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
live AQI index
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Moderate|| 97 US AQI||PM2.5|
PM2.5 concentration in Mae Rim is currently 6.8 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value
| Sensitive groups should wear a mask outdoors|
GET A MASK
| Sensitive groups should run an air purifier|
GET AN AIR PURIFIER
| Close your windows to avoid dirty outdoor air|
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| Sensitive groups should reduce outdoor exercise|
|Friday, May 26|
Moderate 85 US AQI
|Saturday, May 27|
Moderate 77 US AQI
|Sunday, May 28|
Moderate 90 US AQI
Moderate 97 US AQI
|Tuesday, May 30|
Moderate 64 US AQI
|Wednesday, May 31|
Moderate 60 US AQI
|Thursday, Jun 1|
Moderate 62 US AQI
|Friday, Jun 2|
Moderate 60 US AQI
|Saturday, Jun 3|
Moderate 64 US AQI
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Mae Rim is located in the central region of Chiang Mai, in northern Thailand. Chiang Mai itself is one of 76 different provinces throughout the country, and encompasses one of the more well known ones in the northern region, along with Chiang Rai. Chiang Mai itself is a cultural hub, as well as attracting many foreigners and locals alike to live there due to being seen as a greener and more temperate (and less overpopulated) alternative to Bangkok. However, Mae Rim and the whole of the northern region alike are subject to some rather poor levels of air quality, particularly during certain months of the year.
Looking at some of the pollution levels on record, it can be seen that Mae Rim has several months of the year come in with severe PM2.5 readings, along with elevations in the US AQI reading. US AQI is an aggregated number that takes into consideration several main pollutants found in the air, namely ozone (O3), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2) as well as both fine and coarse particles, PM2.5 and PM10.
PM2.5 is often used as a measure of air pollution in its own right due to the extreme danger that it poses to human health. Being 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter (on occasion going down to sizes many microns smaller, as well as being comprised of a variety of different hazardous materials that can have huge impacts on human health), it is the more dangerous of the two types of particulate matter used in the calculation of the US AQI, and is often used to calculate the overall yearly average that a city, state or country is subject to, in terms of its pollution levels.
To highlight the disparity between the more polluted months of the year, along with the cleaner ones, in late May of 2021, Mae Rim was on record with a US AQI reading of 17. This placed it into the ‘good’ air quality ratings bracket, which indicates that the air at the time this reading was taken would be of significantly better quality, free from excesses of exhaust fumes, smoke and clouds of unhealthy particulate matter. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), readings of anywhere between 0 to 150 are deemed as acceptable (however in the upper reaches of these readings, health problems may start to occur in vulnerable demographics amongst the population).
This ‘good’ air quality reading of 17 would be color coded as green, for ease of navigation when using both air quality graphs and air quality maps, available throughout the IQAir website as well as the AirVisual app for hourly updates and forecasts. Other US AQI readings present over the months of April and May of 2021 were ones such as 84 and 95, putting them into the higher end of the ‘moderate’ rated pollution bracket. This is color coded as yellow, and requires a reading of anywhere between 51 to 100 for classification. Sensitive individuals may experience mild symptoms during such levels of US AQI. However, even higher readings were taken in late April, with a reading of 115 being present, putting it into the ‘unhealthy for sensitive groups bracket’, color coded as orange and requiring 101 to 150 on the US AQI scale.
Whilst these are still deemed acceptable, for the last rating bracket, both the general public and especially sensitive individuals will most likely start to experience a range of unpleasant health effects, with irritation to the respiratory tract, skin or mucous membranes becoming apparent. Whilst all of the above mentioned readings are considerably lower than the earlier months of the year when the worst pollution levels appear, it indicates that the air quality in Mae Rim can range from very clean, all the way over to extremely polluted, with the following questions discussing the times of the year in which the air quality is at its most dangerous to breathe.
Other pollutants that would be present would be fine particles such as silica dust, black carbon, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), with the last two both being produced from the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, as well as organic matter. Due to the widespread problem of slash and burn farming present in northern Thailand, both of these pollutants would be found in abundance when these events occur, with chemicals such as benzene, xylene, methylene chloride and formaldehyde forming part of the VOC collective.
Carbon monoxide (CO), as well as the various oxides of nitrogen (NOx) would also be present, along with heavy metals such as lead and mercury (also found near construction sites and factories), along with dioxins, furans and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.
Northern Thailand has its ‘burning season’ take place typically from December through to April of the following year, and as such the PM2.5 readings usually correspond accordingly. In Mae Rim, the PM2.5 levels took a turn for the worse in January, and continued on until April.
The respective readings of PM2.5 on record from January to April were 42.3 μg/m³, 56 μg/m³, 88.1 μg/m³ and 65.4 μg/m³, making March the most polluted and unhealthiest month on record over the course of 2020.
Times of the year that show better levels of air quality in Mae Rim run from June through to November, with a sudden jump back up taking place after this period of time has come to a close. Their respective readings were 13.6 μg/m³, 13.2 μg/m³, 15.5 μg/m³, 15.5 μg/m³, 14.8 μg/m³ and 22.4 μg/m³. This put July and June as the cleanest months of the year with their respective readings of 13.2 μg/m³ and 13.6 μg/m³, making them only a small amount away from moving down to the ‘good’ air quality ratings bracket (10 to 12 μg/m³ required).
Groups of people that should take extra care to protect themselves from higher levels of pollution in Mae Rim would be people such as the elderly and infirm, as well as those who have compromised immune systems or pre-existing health conditions. People who lead a sedentary life or have habits such as smoking may find themselves more at risk. Furthermore, young children and babies, along with pregnant mothers are all highly sensitive to the damaging effects that elevated and prolonged exposure to pollution can bring, and thus should do the utmost to employ some of the preventative measures as mentioned above.
1 Data source