|2||Sam Phran, Nakhon Pathom|
|4||Samut Sakhon, Samut Sakhon|
|5||Bang Bon, Bangkok|
|6||Nong Khaem, Bangkok|
|7||Bangkok Yai, Bangkok|
|8||Thawi Watthana, Bangkok|
|9||Mae Hong Son, Mae Hong Son|
|10||Sai Mai, Bangkok|
(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
live AQI index
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Moderate|| 65 US AQI||PM2.5|
PM2.5 concentration in Ban Khao Lak is currently 3.8 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value
| Close your windows to avoid dirty outdoor air|
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| Sensitive groups should reduce outdoor exercise|
|Wednesday, Dec 7|
Good 26 US AQI
|Thursday, Dec 8|
Good 16 US AQI
|Friday, Dec 9|
Good 26 US AQI
Moderate 65 US AQI
|Sunday, Dec 11|
Good 36 US AQI
|Monday, Dec 12|
Good 47 US AQI
|Tuesday, Dec 13|
Moderate 62 US AQI
|Wednesday, Dec 14|
Moderate 78 US AQI
|Thursday, Dec 15|
Moderate 79 US AQI
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The air quality in Ban Khao Lak is at a fairly good level as of March 2022, showing air quality readings that are far below many other cities in terms of how extreme the pollution levels can typically get in the first few months of the year (due to the issue of open burn sites occurring across the country, causing many cities to get affected by thick clouds of smoke, even if they are many miles away from actual slash and burn sites). Despite some of the US AQI readings going up into the higher end of the 'moderate' air pollution rating bracket, with readings of 76 being the highest taken in February and March of 2022. Many of the other readings came in significantly lower, falling well within the 'good' air quality rating bracket, indicating that the air quality in Ban Khao Lak is quite safe and indeed much better than many other areas in Thailand during the first few months of the year.
Health issues and illnesses that can occur when air pollution rise to dangerous levels (and even lower levels of air pollution being able to cause dangerous and adverse health effects) in Ban Khao Lak include coughs, chest pain and resulting infections, which can turn into more serious health issues if they are left unchecked, resulting in damage and scarring to the lung tissue itself, which can also lead to further respiratory issues, reduced lung capacity as well as a decrease in quality of life, and life expectancy. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may also present itself, with bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma and emphysema being the main illnesses.
Skin problems may also occur, along with increased early death rates that can in many cases be directly linked to air pollution exposure. Due to the extremely small size of PM2.5 and the myriad of extremely dangerous materials, it is comprised of, its ability to make its way past the blood barrier in the lungs and into the circulatory system means that it can affect many different parts of the body, causing cancer rates to rise significantly, primarily affecting the lungs but also many other organ systems, as well as causing adverse effects to the nervous system, particularly amongst younger inhabitants in Ban Khao Lak.
Some more prominent pollutants that can be found in areas around Ban Khao Lak, as well as surrounding districts and cities, include ones that mainly emanate from combustion sources. These on their own are of an extremely large number, with open burn fires, natural disasters (such as forest fires, houses or buildings catching fire), combustion within vehicle engines as well as boilers in factories and other similar industrial sites, as was mentioned earlier in the question regarding what the main causes of polluted air in Ban Khao Lak are. Whilst the aforementioned open burn fires, or slash and burn farming methods as they are generally referred to, are of more significant concern in the northern regions of the country, they can still be found to a lesser degree dotted around various provinces of Thailand. These can cause large amounts of pollutants such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and black carbon to be released into the atmosphere, along with the other pollutants that go into calculating the US AQI aggregate. The chemicals used to calculate this US AQI figure include nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, ozone, as well as the two main forms of particle pollution, PM2.5 and PM10.
Of these two, the smaller PM2.5 is by far the more dangerous pollutant, due to its minute size of 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter allowing it to bypass the bodies defense systems and lodge deep within the tissue of the lungs (with more on this being discussed in the following health issues question). PM2.5 and some forms of PM10 can consist of materials such as water droplets and vapor, along with a variety of other liquids that can be aerosolized. Other materials include mold and fungal spores, bacteria, metals, nitrates and sulfates, along with finely ground silica dust, which can have a carcinogenic effect when inhaled. Some examples of the aforementioned VOCs include chemical compounds such as benzene, styrene, methylene chloride, toluene, xylene and formaldehyde.
Their volatile nature allows them to maintain a gaseous state at much lower temperatures, thus making them much easier to breathe, and would be encountered prevalently around inhabited areas of Ban Khao Lak, due to their discharge from everything from fires, cars, factories as well as even from household items. VOCs are one of the major sources of indoor air pollution and can emanate from products such as glue, paint, varnish, as well as aerosols such as deodorant, scented candles and other toiletries. These are some of the more prevalent air pollutants that may be found around Ban Khao Lak, with certain areas such as busy roads and intersections that see a high level of rush hour traffic having higher concentrations of pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide, ozone and black carbon. Extra care should be taken around such areas, and wearing fine particle filtering masks can aid greatly in the reduction of hazardous material inhalation.
Which people can be affected more prominently by air pollution exposure in Ban Khao Lak?
Those that are at a much higher risk of developing pollution-related health problems include those with pre-existing conditions, which not only compromise their immune system and make them susceptible to acquiring new ailments, but these pre-existing may indeed worsen under poor air quality conditions. Others include the elderly, and on the opposite end of the spectrum, young children and babies. Pregnant women are particularly at risk from the effects of air pollution, as many chemical compounds and ultrafine particles can have a direct effect on the health of the unborn child.
Transportation throughout Ban Khao Lak can contribute significantly to pollution levels, with many people commuting in and out of the city daily. This can lead to large amounts of certain pollutants accumulating within the city’s limits, with certain areas such as busy roads or motorways, as well as other areas where rush hour traffic may accumulate or bottleneck into one small area, seeing significantly higher levels of smoke, haze and other dangerous forms of pollution such as fine particulate matter (also used in the calculation of the US AQI reading).
Causes of decreased air quality include polluting clouds being blown over from other neighboring regions and getting trapped within the urban landscape (tall buildings with many car filled roads in between them, combined with a lack of strong wind to blow air pollution away can lead to significant buildups in cities due to this reason). Further reasons include emissions given off by factories and power plants, many of which burn through copious amounts of fuels, in particular fossil fuels such as diesel, natural gas and coal contributing the most to air pollution. Larger freight vehicles moving in and out of the city can also contribute, with even the wear and tear of their tire treads (along with other smaller vehicles also doing the same) causing many tons of microscopic rubber particles to enter into the air, as well as polluting bodies of water or settling on topsoil, which can have many other environmental consequences within Ban Khao Lak and surrounding areas.