|1||Kamphaeng Phet, Kamphaeng Phet|
|2||Ubon Ratchathani, Changwat Ubon Ratchathani|
|3||Warin Chamrap, Changwat Ubon Ratchathani|
|4||Nakhon Phanom, Nakhon Phanom|
|5||Phu Phiang, Nan|
|7||Hang Chat, Lampang|
|9||Chiang Khong, Chiang Rai|
|10||Udon Thani, Changwat Udon Thani|
(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
live AQI index
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Moderate|| 84 US AQI||PM2.5|
PM2.5 concentration in Ban Sang is currently 5.6 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|
|Friday, Feb 3|
Unhealthy 165 US AQI
|Saturday, Feb 4|
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 146 US AQI
|Sunday, Feb 5|
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 125 US AQI
Moderate 84 US AQI
|Tuesday, Feb 7|
Moderate 73 US AQI
|Wednesday, Feb 8|
Moderate 70 US AQI
|Thursday, Feb 9|
Moderate 65 US AQI
|Friday, Feb 10|
Moderate 71 US AQI
|Saturday, Feb 11|
Moderate 64 US AQI
|Sunday, Feb 12|
Moderate 69 US AQI
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Some of the more prominent sources of ambient air pollution in Ban Sang would be similar to many of those present throughout Thailand, with exhaust fumes from cars, motorbikes and a variety of other vehicles all contributing to the overall US AQI or PM2.5 readings. The biggest causes in this regard are cars, trucks, or motorbikes that are particularly aged, or of poorer quality, which causes them to give off larger amounts of noxious oil vapors, as well as giving out higher quantities of chemical compounds and particulate matter (both PM10 and the far smaller and more dangerous PM2.5). Besides the aforementioned slash and burn farming, or any open burn sites being one of the most prominent factors in the largest spikes of pollution seen on record, factories, industrial sites and power plants that utilize fossil fuels to obtain their energy can also give out large amounts of pollution as a result. Construction sites, road repairs, and even poorly paved roads are also prominent causes of pollution, typically giving out far finer particle pollution than the general public is aware of. Poorly maintained construction sites can give off vast amounts of highly dangerous particles that have a whole host of dangerous health effects on the population, particularly for those that live in closer proximity to such sites.
Extended periods of exposure to greater levels of polluted air in Ban Sang can cause a large number of highly negative health effects and other serious conditions, particularly pertinent to those individuals who fall under the sensitive group's bracket. Of note though, is that even healthy adults may fall ill or sustain damage when air pollution exposure is excessive, or exposure takes place over a long period (particularly prominent for those who live closer to highly polluted areas, which include industrial districts or near busy roads and highways, where the air quality will be poor for a majority of the year). Many conditions that can arise as a result would be short-term ones such as dry throat and coughs, as well as chest pains and subsequent infections of the respiratory tract and lungs. These typically resolve themselves fairly quickly when exposure to air pollution is ceased. They can, however, also develop into more long-term or chronic issues, with continuous chest infections and coughing leading to the scarring of lung tissue, which often results in permanently decreased lung capacity.
Furthermore, the scarring or damage and inflammation to the tissue of the lungs that can occur from breathing these damaging particles can make individuals much more vulnerable to a whole host of respiratory distress, with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) presenting itself. COPD is an umbrella term that encompasses a plethora of lung and respiratory tract ailments, usually resulting in shortness of breath and other unwanted or adverse symptoms. Breathing in polluted air when an individual already suffers from pre-existing conditions can cause them to worsen, and thus progress into potentially more life-threatening forms of said illness. Some of the conditions that can be classified under the COPD bracket are aggravated forms of asthma, as well as emphysema, pneumonia, and bronchitis. Other forms of damage that can happen within the body include increased risk of cancer, heart attacks, strokes and arrhythmias, as well as ischemic heart disease and many other cardiac or pulmonary conditions that can bring about decreased quality of life as well as lower an individual’s life expectancy in Ban Sang.
Some of the many different types of air pollutants that can be found in Ban Sang are the ones that go into the US AQI aggregate, which includes carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and ozone, as well as the two forms of particle-based pollution, PM10 and PM2.5. Other pollutants that can be found in the air, in varying degrees depending on the industrial activity taking place in proximity include ones such as black carbon and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), both of which are released from the combustion of fossil fuels, as well as organic matter, and as such can be given off from both industrial sites as well as open burning of plant matter, as well as synthetic materials. Some examples of VOCs include benzene, toluene, xylene and methylene chloride. VOCs are one of the main sources of indoor air pollution levels as well, far more than many people are aware of. They can emanate off materials or household items such as scented candles, aerosols, certain shampoos and other toiletries, as well as from glues or solvents, as well as painted or varnished surfaces. Indoor air purifiers can aid greatly in reducing the number of volatile compounds that may be causing adverse effects to the health of those in a household that has a large amount of these pollutants present, particularly if ventilation is inadequate and does not allow for fresh air to circulate.
Observing the air quality readings from 2020, it can be seen that Ban Sang had some very prominent readings of PM2.5 in its early months of the year, as well as following a pattern typically seen in Thailand whereby the pollution levels start to rise at the end of the year, due to the emergence of open burn fires, with the pollution levels rising continuously into the early months of the following year, often peaking during these earlier months. Ban Sang had its most polluted months from February through April, and although data for January was missing, it is most likely that the pollution levels were also extremely high during this month. February had the highest reading in 2020, coming in at 59.4 μg/m³, placing it into the 'unhealthy' air quality rating bracket, color-coded as red and being the only month of the year to achieve such a rating.
Despite the high PM2.5 levels present in the beginning of the year (as well as steadily rising ones seen at the end of the year), Ban Sang also had a period of vastly improved air quality. The months of June through to September all had highly respectable readings of PM2.5, all falling inside the World Health Organization's (WHO's) target goal of 10 μg/m³ or less, showing that the air was extremely clean and significantly freer from haze, smoke and other contaminating elements. June had the cleanest reading of the year with a PM2.5 reading of 7.7 μg/m³.