|1||Thawi Watthana, Bangkok|
|2||Nakhon Pathom, Nakhon Pathom|
|3||Bangkok Yai, Bangkok|
|4||Nong Khaem, Bangkok|
|5||Bang Bon, Bangkok|
|6||Chiang Dao, Chiang Mai|
|7||Mae Hong Son, Mae Hong Son|
|8||Pak Kret, Nonthaburi|
|9||Taling Chan, Bangkok|
|10||Phan, Chiang Rai|
(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
live AQI index
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Good|| 21* US AQI||PM2.5|
PM2.5 concentration in Songkhla air currently meets the WHO annual air quality guideline value
|Open your windows to bring clean, fresh air indoors|
|Enjoy outdoor activities|
Good 21 US AQI
|Saturday, Oct 1|
Good 18 US AQI
|Sunday, Oct 2|
Good 17 US AQI
|Monday, Oct 3|
Good 22 US AQI
|Tuesday, Oct 4|
Good 25 US AQI
|Wednesday, Oct 5|
Good 32 US AQI
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Songkhla is a city in the southern region of Thailand, not far from the border with Malaysia, sitting some 968km south of the capital city, Bangkok. It also goes by another name, locally as Singgora. It has a long history of being an important fishing and harbor city, with a large amount of international maritime trade taking place here in times past.
In regards to its current levels of air quality, Songkhla has some varying levels of pollution, with both extremely low and fairly high readings coming in. These readings are being taken towards the end of the year, when the most data is currently available, and as such when considering readings in Thailand, many areas tend to be drastically affected by seasonal forms of pollution, in particular in the southern region where haze and smoke drifts over from the Sumatran part of Indonesia.
In late 2020, Songkhla came in with PM2.5 readings as high as 31.3 μg/m³, putting it in the higher end of the ‘moderate’ ratings bracket for that particular day. A moderate rating requires a PM2.5 reading of anywhere between 12.1 to 35.4 μg/m³ to be classified as such. A spike in pollution levels with numbers such as these could have harmful effects on its citizens, indicating an excessive rise in fine particulate matter in the air, as well as other chemical contaminants.
On the other hand, lows of 3 μg/m³ were also taken towards the end of the year. Whilst the general average reading was around 20 μg/m³, the vast disparity between the readings indicates that the air quality in Songkhla could be very good, but there are some interfering sources skewing the data results and causing higher numbers of pollution. As such it can be said that Songkhla does have some issues with its air quality.
Whilst there are a lot of available resources on pollution in Songkhla, many of them are focused more towards to contamination of water, in particular the famous Songkhla lake, with large amounts of plastic materials as well as industrial effluence finding its way into the waters, causing damage to the ecosystem, as well as causing foul odors and affecting the livelihood of people that live nearby or rely on the lake for fishing.
In regards to the main causes of air pollution, they would show a similar story to the rest of Thailand, with the added negative aspect of being located in the far south, and therefore susceptible to the large amounts of smog and haze that blow over from Indonesia, causing large amounts of pollution to occur in Malaysia, Singapore as well as southern Thai cities such as Songkhla.
Of note is that Songkhla has the added benefit of being coastal, and thus will have a larger amount of strong coastal winds to assist in the removal of pollution accumulation.
Other main causes are vehicular emissions, with the worst offenders being heavy duty vehicles such as large trucks and buses, often running on unclean fuel sources such as diesel, as well as having old and outdated engines that produce terrible amounts of noxious emissions. Other sources would include smoke and fumes from factories, construction sites, as well as pollution from ships and boats that would populate the coastal side of the city.
With sources of pollution such as factories being present, smoke clouds given off by these industrial lines would include pollution stemming from the burning of fossil fuels such as coal, usually used to power the heavy equipment and machinery, as well as any industrial gases that are produced as a side effect of whatever is being produced at any given factory (with ones dealing in plastic production often releasing plastic fumes, ones dealing in industrial materials releasing finely ground particles such as silica, as well as heavy metals such as lead, mercury or cadmium).
Regarding pollution coming from vehicles, Songkhla would find a large amount of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) in its atmosphere, being present in both land-based readings as well as satellite ones. Nitrogen dioxide finds particular prominence in areas that see high volumes of traffic, and as such is usually a good indicator of how much traffic is moving through any particular area. Sulfur dioxide can be released in larger quantities from ship engines due to ship fuels often containing higher amounts of sulfur, which can lead to instances of acid rain occurring.
During the burning season occurring in Indonesia, pollution in the air would tend more towards the aforementioned nitrogen and sulfur oxides, as well as carbon monoxide, black carbon, and numerous volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) such as benzene or formaldehyde, all of which have disastrous effects on human health.
As mentioned before, whilst there are days that come in with some very appreciable readings of PM2.5 in the air, such as the 3 μg/m³ being taken towards the end of 2020, the highs recorded that go up to 31.3 μg/m³ could cause such days to have heightened instances of health issues occurring, particularly when the smoke and haze fails to disperse due to adverse weather conditions.
Some health issues would include instances of irritation to the throat, eyes, skin and mouth, as well as increased risks of chest infections and lung cancers. Damage to the lung tissue can occur from the excessive inhalation of fine particles, with scarring of the lungs occurring that would reduce their overall capacity, as well as causing a number of other respiratory ailments such as pneumonia, bronchitis and emphysema, as well as aggravated forms of asthma.
Whilst certain times of the year find Songkhla being at the mercy of trans-border smoke occurring due to foreign fires out of their control, other times of the year could see a reduction in pollution via the proper management of waste disposal. Open burn sources are also a localized problem in Thailand, with people setting fire to refuse piles instead of disposing of it properly, although this has diminished in more recent times.
Other initiatives would include better regulation of vehicular and factory emissions, with boards of control stepping up to issue fines and charges to any factories caught exceeding unsafe levels of pollution in their surrounding atmosphere. The same can be said of vehicles as well, with the fining and eventual removal of a large amount of ancient diesel-based cars off the road, all of which would help Songkhla to reduce its ambient year-round pollution levels and come in with a better yearly average.