|1||Phra Samut Chedi, Samut Prakan|
|2||Chaloem Phra Kiat, Sara Buri|
|3||Phra Khanong, Bangkok|
|4||Pai, Mae Hong Son|
|5||Saraburi, Sara Buri|
|6||Wang Thonglang, Bangkok|
|7||Wapi Pathum, Maha Sarakham|
|8||Bang Na, Bangkok|
|9||Samut Sakhon, Samut Sakhon|
|10||Lat Krabang, Bangkok|
(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
live AQI index
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Good|| 37 US AQI||PM2.5|
|PM2.5|| 9 µg/m³|
|Open your windows to bring clean, fresh air indoors|
|Enjoy outdoor activities|
|Monday, May 3|
Moderate 57 US AQI
|Tuesday, May 4|
Good 38 US AQI
|Wednesday, May 5|
Moderate 65 US AQI
Good 36 US AQI
|Friday, May 7|
Good 38 US AQI
|Saturday, May 8|
Good 31 US AQI
|Sunday, May 9|
Good 24 US AQI
|Monday, May 10|
Good 17 US AQI
|Tuesday, May 11|
Good 24 US AQI
|Wednesday, May 12|
Moderate 51 US AQI
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Kanchanaburi is a city in the western region of Thailand, belonging to the province of the same name, as well as being part of the Mueang Kanchanaburi district. The city was established a few hundred years ago as an outpost to guard against Burmese invasions, and finds itself some 123km west of the capital city, Bangkok. Kanchanaburi does not have any distinct features to it that draw large amounts of tourists, nor any hubs or centers or international trade or production. However, despite this it still manages to reach some fairly elevated levels of pollution, the reasons as to why being discussed in short.
In 2019, Kanchanaburi came in with a PM2.5 reading of 25.2 μg/m³, putting it into the mid to high end of the ‘moderate’ ratings bracket, a rating that requires a PM2.5 reading of any number between 12.1 to 35.4 μg/m³ to be classified as such. This is a somewhat elevated level of air pollution, making it come in fairly far ahead of the capital city Bangkok, a place that is already known for its own pollution issues. As such, this is indicative that Kanchanaburi has some distinct issues with pollution and will need a measure of work in the future to bring these levels down.
Its 2019 reading of 25.2 μg/m³ was enough to place it in 613th place out of all cities ranked worldwide, as well as 30th place out of all cities ranked in Thailand. Thus, as mentioned, the city has some pollution issues, with certain months going way higher and posing a great risk for many of its citizens.
Observing the data taken over the course of 2019 as a best indicator of pollution levels (due to 2020 having massive worldwide lockdowns imposed due to the covid-19 outbreak, which whilst great for reducing air pollution levels, skews the data somewhat as it is not indicative of the accurate levels of air pollution, hence why 2019 is being used), we can see a distinct pattern start to emerge.
The pollution levels have a high and low season corresponding with certain times of the year, with air quality taking a noticeable turn for the worst around November, worsening from then on out until around March or April of the following year (or in this case, still referring to the earlier months of 2019).
October to November is distinct in its decline, with a PM2.5 reading of 19.1 μg/m³ in October jumping rapidly to 30.1 μg/m³ in November, and then further more to 49.2 μg/m³ in December. This continues on until the next year, with readings in January coming in at the absolute highest, with a very polluted reading of 74.4 μg/m³ occurring in the first month of the year, putting January into the ‘unhealthy’ ratings bracket.
This continues on with a gradual improvement until May, when more normal and less dangerous levels of PM2.5 are seen recorded. So, in finishing, the beginning and end parts of the year have the most haze, smoke, pollution and particulate matter in the air, with January taking the number one spot as most polluted month of 2019.
To follow on from the previous question, as mentioned it is around the month of May when pollution levels start to resemble somewhat of a more normal and less hazardous pollutive presence. March came in with a PM2.5 reading of 43.6 μg/m³, putting it in the ‘unhealthy for sensitive groups’ bracket. This was followed by a reading of 29.4 μg/m³ in April, and then a further drop down to 16 μg/m³ in May.
It is from May until October when the best quality of air is seen in Kanchanaburi, a time when the residents as well as visitors will be able to breathe a much better quality of air, free from the haze and pollution of the beginning and end months of the year.
For the absolute cleanest months, which are a large redeeming factor in the city, June through to August all came in with the cleanest readings, falling within the World Health Organizations (WHO's) target bracket for clean air. They all came in with PM2.5 readings of 6.3 μg/m³, 7.4 μg/m³ and 6.2 μg/m³ respectively, making August the cleanest month out of the entire year and June a close second.
For smaller cities such as Kanchanaburi, although polluting factors such as vehicle emissions would play a role in raising the ambient year round readings, the main issue here appears to be that of crop and stubble burning, with many farmers and inhabitants of the city burning vast swathes of land to prepare the soil for crops, as well as clearing room for land they may want to utilize for other purposes.
This has gone largely unchecked in the city and province, despite the practices being highly illegal. Many of the burn sites take place at night and in hard to reach areas, thus the enforcement of stopping the burning does not get followed through on as easily.
This is one of the main reasons behind the massive pollution readings present in such a small city. Other factors would include mining of natural resources, with lead mines having been a prominent topic mainly regarding soil and water pollution, but the resulting particulate matter can also lead to deadly clouds of the heavy metal entering the air and being respired by Kanchanaburi’s inhabitants.
With much of its air pollution coming from open burn sites, the pollutants would correspond with those released from the combustion of organic materials, as well as those released from vehicles and industrial areas.
Burning organic matter such as plants, wood and other similar materials often results in the release of chemicals such as black carbon and volatile organic compounds (VOC's), both of which can arise from the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels as well as organic matter. As such they would find their release from both vehicles that run on diesel fuels as well as the burning of plant and forest areas. Some examples of VOC's include benzene, xylene, toluene and formaldehyde, all of which are extremely dangerous and easy to respire due to their gaseous form.
Carbon monoxide can also be released in vast quantities, particularly deadly when done in poorly ventilated areas. The aforementioned black carbon is a major component of soot, also finding its release in vehicle exhaust. It is a known carcinogen and can makes its way into the lungs of people who are near to any burn sites, raising incidences of cancer and other severe health issues.