|1||Chiang Dao, Chiang Mai|
|3||Phan, Chiang Rai|
|5||Bang Bo District, Samut Prakan|
|6||Pai, Mae Hong Son|
|7||Phu Phiang, Nan|
|9||Doi Saket, Chiang Mai|
|10||Mae Hong Son, Mae Hong Son|
(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
8:00, Sep 29
live AQI index
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Moderate|| 57 US AQI||PM2.5|
PM2.5 concentration in Bang Kho Laem is currently 3 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value
|Close your windows to avoid dirty outdoor air|
|Sensitive groups should reduce outdoor exercise|
|Monday, Sep 26|
Moderate 62 US AQI
|Tuesday, Sep 27|
Moderate 73 US AQI
|Wednesday, Sep 28|
Moderate 54 US AQI
Moderate 57 US AQI
|Friday, Sep 30|
Moderate 84 US AQI
|Saturday, Oct 1|
Moderate 90 US AQI
|Sunday, Oct 2|
Moderate 79 US AQI
|Monday, Oct 3|
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 103 US AQI
|Tuesday, Oct 4|
Moderate 86 US AQI
|Wednesday, Oct 5|
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 114 US AQI
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Bang Kho Laem is a small city in the mid region of Thailand, also considered one of 50 districts of the capital city Bangkok. Due to it being one of Bangkok’s districts, it would have similar levels of air pollution to the capital itself. It is Located on the edge of the famous Chao Phraya river and reachable by boat from many destinations further north in Bangkok. Bang Kho Laem finds itself with pollution levels taken in late 2020 sitting between good and moderate ratings, in terms of the level of PM2.5 present in the air. PM2.5 refers to tiny particulate matter that is of 2.5 or less micrometers in diameter, and as such can present numerous amounts of health issues when inhaled over longer periods of time, due to its extremely small size (approximately three percent of the diameter of human hair) which allow it to penetrate deep into lung tissue as well as the circulatory system.
Returning to the levels of PM2.5 present in Bang Kho Laem, they range from readings as high as 35.2 µg/m³ taken on the 26th of November 2020, all the way down to 9.1 µg/m³ recorded on the 25th. The first reading of 35.2 µg/m³ would put it into the moderately polluted bracket, requiring a PM2.5 reading of anywhere 12.1 to 35.4 µg/m³ to achieve, and the second reading would be classed within the World Health Organizations target goal of 0 to 10 µg/m³.
Whilst this is a respectable reading, it should be of note that the higher readings make up the majority of the month, putting its average into the moderate rating bracket.
Much like the causes of pollution in Bangkok, Bang Kho Laem would find the majority of its pollutive sources similar, if not identical to that of Bangkok’s, with slight differences available due to location as well as the concentration of industrial sites such as factories and other production facilities nearby. One of these main sources would be automobiles, with nearly 10 million vehicles registered in Bangkok alone, meaning that a nearby district city would also find itself under the same pollutive effects that comes with a high concentration of cars and trucks.
Primary and secondary pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide (NO2) would be particularly concentrated in the air, due to it being the main pollutant found in the smoke and exhaust fumes emitted from cars and motorbikes. This has such a strong correlation that areas with high concentrations of nitrogen dioxide often see high levels of traffic or motor vehicle usage, and same goes for the other way round.
Sulfur dioxide would also be found in the air, contributing to the worser levels of pollution. This is emitted both from cars and other vehicles as well as the smoke and haze produced by factories, contributing heavily to acid rain. In regards to cars, it is particularly salient in vehicles that run on diesel fuels, which often contain higher levels of polluting chemicals and compounds as opposed to other cleaner fuel sources. Diesel fuels also release other air contaminants such as black carbon and volatile organic compounds (VOC’s).
As mentioned previously, there exists a fairly high concentration of factories within the city of Bang Kho Laem, with a large amount of plastic based ones situated at the back end of the city, further away from the riverfront with its highly popular destination of ‘Asiatique’, a boutique waterfront theme park that contains many high-end shops and food stores, as well as amusement rides. Hidden behind this brightly lit façade are many production facilities that apart from the plastic factories, include ones such as rubber, wood, garment production and industrial supplies.
A high concentration of these would have a noticeable effect on air quality, releasing a variety of different pollutants into the air that can combine with the vehicular emissions to produce PM2.5 or PM10 that has more dangerous qualities, due to the chemical composition of these fine particles when combined together from different sources.
Molten plastic can release toxic gases such as dioxins, mercury and even polychlorinated biphenyls (BCP’s) into the air, which have numerous adverse effects on not only the people breathing them but also damaging effects on the ecosystem. Wood and other industrial production based plants can also release their fair share of smoke and particulate matter into the air, with finishers and varnishes applied to wood on a large scale releasing contaminants such as the previously mentioned volatile organic compounds, as well as combining with other chemicals to produce ozone (O3), all of which contribute considerably to the worsened levels of air quality in Bang Kho Laem.
Going by the elevated readings of PM2.5 recorded in November (a high of 35.2 µg/m³), the breathing of this level of ‘moderate’ pollution can cause a host of issues when PM2.5 and PM.10 is respired. Some conditions include irritation of the skin and respiratory tract, with symptoms of asthma being aggravated even with short term exposure.
PM2.5 is of such small size that it can enter into the bloodstream and travel throughout the body, causing an increase in cancer rates as well as cardiac and circulatory conditions such as heart disease, damage to blood vessels and increased risks of heart attacks. Of note is that these risks would only be an issue when levels of pollution are elevated, and as such are not of year-round concern, particularly to people who stay up to date on pollution levels via the use of air quality maps, as available on the IQAir website and AirVisual app.
Besides having negative health impacts on people, there are a number of other issues related to the environment and ecosystem that can be impacted by air pollution caused by cars and factories. Sulfur dioxide can enter into clouds whereby it causes the levels of acidity to rise, causing the infamous acid rain. This can in turn damage buildings, bodies of water that are host to aquatic life and well as killing off large numbers of plant and tree life. This creates a domino effect of sorts, with damage to ecosystems causing the disappearance of large areas of trees, which not only host large amounts of animals but also act as a natural barrier to pollution levels itself. So besides harming human health, air pollution can see the drop in animal species (particularly endangered ones) and a reduction in plant life, causing cumulative effects for both the environment and the people living there.