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|1||Bang Khun Thian, Bangkok|
|3||Ayutthaya, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya|
|4||Pathum Wan, Bangkok|
|5||Samut Sakhon, Samut Sakhon|
|6||Bang Kruai, Nonthaburi|
|8||Khlong Toei, Bangkok|
|9||Chon Buri, Chon Buri|
|10||Udon Thani, Changwat Udon Thani|
(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
live AQI index
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Good|| 39* US AQI||PM2.5|
PM2.5 concentration in Songkhla is currently 1.9 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value
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Good 39 AQI US
|Thursday, Oct 5|
Good 40 AQI US
|Friday, Oct 6|
Good 50 AQI US
|Saturday, Oct 7|
Moderate 54 AQI US
|Sunday, Oct 8|
Moderate 56 AQI US
|Monday, Oct 9|
Moderate 55 AQI US
|Tuesday, Oct 10|
Moderate 59 AQI US
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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 anothername, locally as Singgora. It has a long history of being an important fishingand 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 ofpollution, with both extremely low and fairly high readings coming in. Thesereadings are being taken towards the end of the year, when the most data iscurrently available, and as such when considering readings in Thailand, manyareas tend to be drastically affected by seasonal forms of pollution, inparticular 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 thehigher end of the ‘moderate’ ratings bracket for that particular day. Amoderate rating requires a PM2.5 reading of anywhere between 12.1 to 35.4 μg/m³to be classified as such. A spike in pollution levels with numbers such asthese could have harmful effects on its citizens, indicating an excessive risein 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 thegeneral average reading was around 20 μg/m³, the vast disparity between thereadings indicates that the air quality in Songkhla could be very good, butthere are some interfering sources skewing the data results and causing highernumbers 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 arefocused more towards to contamination of water, in particular the famousSongkhla lake, with large amounts of plastic materials as well as industrialeffluence finding its way into the waters, causing damage to the ecosystem, aswell 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 restof 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 overfrom 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 dutyvehicles such as large trucks and buses, often running on unclean fuel sourcessuch as diesel, as well as having old and outdated engines that produceterrible amounts of noxious emissions. Other sources would include smoke andfumes from factories, construction sites, as well as pollution from ships andboats that would populate the coastal side of the city.
With sources of pollution such as factories being present, smoke clouds given off by theseindustrial lines would include pollution stemming from the burning of fossilfuels such as coal, usually used to power the heavy equipment and machinery, aswell as any industrial gases that are produced as a side effect of whatever isbeing produced at any given factory (with ones dealing in plastic productionoften releasing plastic fumes, ones dealing in industrial materials releasingfinely 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 nitrogendioxide (NO2) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) in its atmosphere,being present in both land-based readings as well as satellite ones. Nitrogendioxide 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 throughany particular area. Sulfur dioxide can be released in larger quantities fromship engines due to ship fuels often containing higher amounts of sulfur, whichcan lead to instances of acid rain occurring.
During the burning season occurring in Indonesia, pollution in the air would tend moretowards the aforementioned nitrogen and sulfur oxides, as well as carbonmonoxide, black carbon, and numerous volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) such asbenzene 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 readingsof 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 heightenedinstances of health issues occurring, particularly when the smoke and hazefails to disperse due to adverse weather conditions.
Some health issues would include instances of irritation to the throat, eyes, skin andmouth, as well as increased risks of chest infections and lung cancers. Damageto 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-bordersmoke occurring due to foreign fires out of their control, other times of theyear could see a reduction in pollution via the proper management of wastedisposal. Open burn sources are also a localized problem in Thailand, withpeople 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 boardsof control stepping up to issue fines and charges to any factories caughtexceeding unsafe levels of pollution in their surrounding atmosphere. The samecan be said of vehicles as well, with the fining and eventual removal of alarge amount of ancient diesel-based cars off the road, all of which would helpSongkhla to reduce its ambient year-round pollution levels and come in with a better yearly average.