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|2||Ayutthaya, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya|
|3||Wang Thonglang, Bangkok|
|4||Bang Khun Thian, Bangkok|
|7||Khan Na Yao, Bangkok|
|9||Mae Mo, Lampang|
|10||Lam Luk Ka, Pathum Thani|
(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
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|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Good|| 42* US AQI||PM2.5|
PM2.5 concentration in Lamphun is currently 2 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value
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Good 42 AQI US
|Wednesday, Oct 4|
Moderate 59 AQI US
|Thursday, Oct 5|
Moderate 68 AQI US
|Friday, Oct 6|
Moderate 65 AQI US
|Saturday, Oct 7|
Moderate 58 AQI US
|Sunday, Oct 8|
Moderate 63 AQI US
|Monday, Oct 9|
Moderate 61 AQI US
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Lamphun is a city located in the far northern region of Thailand, finding itself some 665km away from the capital city of Bangkok, and only 19km south of Chiang Mai. It is the capital city of Lamphun province, and has a somewhat small population, with the last census having been taken in 2006 and showing a population size of only 14 thousand people.
The city is mainly known for its natural beauty, being surrounded by many rice fields and orchards. Although this is typically a sign of a perfect environment, in the northern region of Thailand this can actually run counter to what is typically thought of as being a clean area, with many portions of these untouched lands being subject to slash and burn farming practices. So, whilst Lamphun might not have a massive amount of people or tourists bringing up the pollution levels via the overuse of vehicles, it certainly sees some months of the year subject to severe pollution levels due to swathes of land being set ablaze, releasing large amounts of haze and smoke into the atmosphere.
To use some numbers for reference, in the early portion of 2021, Lamphun was showing PM2.5 readings of numbers as high as 83.3 μg/m³. This would cause it to be placed into the ‘unhealthy’ ratings bracket, one which requires a PM2.5 reading of anywhere between 55.5 to 150.4 μg/m³ to be classified as such. As the name indicates, this is a very undesirable level of air quality, and would have far reaching effects and consequences to those who are subject to breathing it. So, it can be concluded that in the early portion of the year as well as the months following, Lamphun is subject to some undesirable and dangerous amounts of pollution.
As mentioned previously, whilst it does not see itself subject to a massive influx of tourists that other cities in the northern region do, it would still stand to reason that its population would be relying on a large amount of personal vehicles for commutes both inside and outside of the city. These would include ones such as cars and motorbikes, as well as heavy duty vehicles such as trucks, lorries and buses.
Many of these vehicles run on unclean fuel sources, or diesel fuel, both of which can put out significantly more pollution than a cleaner fuel alternative would. When this is coupled with aged and out of date motors and engines, the result is far greater leakage of oil vapors, as well as other pollutants that arise from the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, such as black carbon, or sulfur dioxide.
Besides the issue of vehicles (which would contribute more to the year round readings being subtly raised, the main issue would be the aforementioned burning of crop stubble, as well as the burning of forested areas for the purpose of clearing out even more farmland. Despite being highly illegal, these practices continue to take place, more prolifically in the northern region of Thailand, and are responsible for the terrible air quality that is often witnessed from December through to April of the following year.
Whilst it is a city that certainly sees certain months of the year come in with very appreciable readings of air quality, due to its small population and lack of any major industrial areas, it is still subject to the same pollutive issues that much of northern Thailand suffers from. The first incentive would be to place more resources into the permanent stoppage of these slash and burn practices taking place, or if not permanently then at least a larger reduction of their occurrences.
The fires have such a prominent effect on the pollution levels in north Thailand that their cessation would go a very long way in improving the yearly average for many of the cities in the region. Other proactive measures would be the gradual phasing out of fossil fuel use and a move to more sustainable and clean energy sources, particularly for industrial zones and vehicles. These would be a great aid in reducing the ambient year round readings of PM2.5 and other contaminants in the air.
With much of its pollution arising from burn sources such as the crop and forest area fires, as well as the use of fuels in vehicles, there would be a subsequent relation to the pollutants found in the air. vehicles themselves are responsible for releasing large amounts of nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide, with nitrogen dioxide (NO2) being the primary offender in vehicular emissions, often found in greater quantities over areas that see large amounts of traffic.
Pollution released from the open burning of plant matter, wood or even refuse and waste in some cases, would release large amounts of black carbon and volatile organic compounds (VOC's), although of note is that both of these can also be released from vehicles as well, creating a compounding effect in the air. Some examples of VOC's would include ones such as benzene, methylene chloride, toluene, xylene as well as formaldehyde.
Other pollutants that can also form from open burn sites include dioxins, furans, and even heavy metals such as lead or mercury being leaked into the air and ecosystem, depending on what materials are being burnt. Polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide (CO) would also be present in Lamphun, during months when the pollution levels are particularly elevated.
With PM2.5 levels as high as 83.3 μg/m³ being present during the month of January, it is at times like this when a whole host of health ailments and issues would reveal themselves, with both chronic and long term illnesses cropping up. Some short term issues would include ones such as irritation to the mucous membranes, so the eyes, ears, nose and throat and even the skin would be subject to aggravation and possible rashes or breakouts due to exposure to chemicals. Young children can also develop allergies if over exposed during vital developmental stages of their life.
Other more serious long term issues would include raised instances of cancer, particularly of the lungs and throat, as well as damage and rapid aging of the lung tissue due to exposure to carcinogenic particulate matter such as black carbon. This can reduce full lung function in individuals and make them more susceptible to respiratory problems such as pneumonia, bronchitis, aggravated asthma attacks as well as emphysema. These are but a few of the health ailments that may occur to those who suffer from over exposure to pollution.