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|Air pollution level
|Air quality index
| 88 US AQI
PM2.5 concentration in Phra Samut Chedi is currently 5.9 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value
|Monday, Feb 26
Unhealthy for sensitive groups 103 AQI US
|Tuesday, Feb 27
Unhealthy for sensitive groups 114 AQI US
|Wednesday, Feb 28
Moderate 89 AQI US
Moderate 88 AQI US
|Friday, Mar 1
Moderate 65 AQI US
|Saturday, Mar 2
Moderate 72 AQI US
|Sunday, Mar 3
Moderate 73 AQI US
|Monday, Mar 4
Moderate 65 AQI US
|Tuesday, Mar 5
Moderate 64 AQI US
|Wednesday, Mar 6
Moderate 66 AQI US
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Phra Samut Chedi has seen some poor levels of air quality in the past few years, with a variety of different sources all contributing to these elevated numbers of PM2.5 and US AQI, the two main measures of air pollution that are used on the IQAir website. US AQI is a number aggregated from the several main pollutants typically found in the air, not just in Phra Samut Chedi but found globally, due to the prevalence of their release from all ‘normal’ polluting sources, some of which will be discussed in the following question.
The US AQI number is calculated from the volume of the aforementioned main pollutants found in the air, with them being ones such as ozone (O3), otherwise more commonly known as smog when it accumulates in large amounts, blanketing roads and other areas of busy cities in a thick visible fog. Others include nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and sulfur dioxide (SO2). The two main types of particle pollution, PM2.5 and PM10 are also included, with PM2.5 being the far more deadly of the two, due to its extremely small size of 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter.
With this knowledge of the units of air pollution measurement in mind, we can take a look at the air pollution levels as seen on record in Phra Samut Chedi, with early June of 2021 coming in with a US AQI reading of 76, placing it into the higher end of the ‘moderate’ air pollutions rating bracket. This rating is color coded as yellow, and requires a US AQI reading of anywhere between 51 to 100 to be classified as such.
As per the guidelines set out by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), any reading between 0 to 150 is deemed as ‘acceptable’, albeit with readings on the higher end of this spectrum having some detrimental effects on certain members of the population, with even healthy individuals possibly starting to experience some aggravation to their respiratory tract.
Other readings of US AQI that came in in Phra Samut Chedi over May of 2021 include readings of 84 and 86, even higher on the moderate rating. For health and safety recommendations, the aforementioned vulnerable individuals may wish to avoid outdoor strenuous activities lest they experience any respiratory symptoms as a result. Other readings include ones such as 107 and 121, taken in early May of 2021.
These would fall into the ‘unhealthy for sensitive groups’ bracket, which requires a US AQI reading of 101 to 150 to be classified as such, and is color coded as orange. Whilst this is still within the ‘acceptable’ range of air pollution (although of note is that whilst acceptable it could certainly stand to be much better), the general public may start to experience some form of respiratory irritation, as well as vulnerable individuals being even more at risk to developing acute respiratory or pulmonary ailments.
These vulnerable groups would include people such as young children and the elderly, along with pregnant women, those with pre-existing health conditions, as well as those who have compromised immune systems or a hypersensitivity towards certain chemicals or fine particles.
Whilst these groups are most at risk, when the readings go up to ones such as 153, which was also recorded in Early May of 2021, all members of the population would be at an elevated risk of developing severe health issues if exposure is excessive or prolonged. This reading of 153 falls into the ‘unhealthy’ air quality ratings bracket, which is color coded as red and requires a US AQI reading of 151 to 200.
Whilst the US AQI readings of Mid-2021 were discussed in the question above, observing the yearly PM2.5 reading taken over 2020, it can be seen that an average of 28.5 μg/m³ was attained, placing it into the moderate ratings bracket, once again color coded as yellow but with the difference of being classified based on micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m³), requiring a reading of anywhere between 12.1 to 35.4 μg/m³ for classification.
This reading placed Phra Samut Chedi in 25th place out of all cities ranked in Thailand for 2020, as well as 440th place out of all cities ranked worldwide. In order to attain such a high reading of air pollution, the numerous and constant sources of air pollution present would be ones such as high levels of vehicular emissions.
Cars, motorbikes and other heavier freight vehicles would all give out large amounts of hazardous particles and chemical pollutants, particularly if the model is old and worn down, causing vehicles to leak large amounts of noxious oil vapors. Other significant causes of air pollution would be fires started by people in order to remove large amounts of waste and garbage (sometimes started on purpose, and other times accidentally initiated), both of the synthetic and organic material variety. Whilst the northern region of Thailand tends to see more open fires caused by farmers, the lower and central regions do not suffer from this issue as prevalently. Other causes include emissions from power plants, factories and other industrial areas.
With US AQI readings going into the ‘unhealthy’ ratings bracket, there are certainly times of the year whereby the pollution levels can cause significant damage to one’s health. Some ailments would include dry coughs and chest pain, along with increased respiratory infections and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Asthma, pneumonia and bronchitis are part of the COPD collective, and would appear alongside even more serious health issues such as heart attacks, strokes, ischemic heart disease, and death.
Observing the data collected over 2020 as a concise measure, it can be seen that the months of November and December had the highest readings of PM2.5 on record, coming in with readings of 38.8 μg/m³ and 44.5 μg/m³ respectively.
These figures placed November and December into the 'unhealthy for sensitive groups' ratings bracket, the only two months of the year in 2020 to do so.
Whilst the air pollution level remained fairly consistent in its elevations, with no distinct periods of time with large drops in the PM2.5 count, it can be seen that out of all of the months, June through to September had the best level of air quality, relatively speaking.
Their readings were 21.7 μg/m³, 22 μg/m³, 21.6 μg/m³ and 22.2 μg/m³ respectively, all still fairly high but far better than the final two months of 2020. Out of all of these, June was the cleanest month on record with its reading of 21.7 μg/m³.