|1||Bang Lamung, Chon Buri|
|2||Samut Songkhram, Samut Songkhram|
|3||Bang Bon, Bangkok|
|4||Phra Samut Chedi, Samut Prakan|
|5||Ayutthaya, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya|
|6||Uthai, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya|
|7||Ban Sang, Prachin Buri|
|8||Nam Phong, Khon Kaen|
|9||Bang Khon Thi, Samut Songkhram|
|10||Chaloem Phra Kiat, Sara Buri|
(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
live AQI index
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Unhealthy|| 180 US AQI||PM2.5|
PM2.5 concentration in Sukhothai is currently 22.4 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value
|Saturday, Jan 28|
Moderate 87 US AQI
|Sunday, Jan 29|
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 123 US AQI
|Monday, Jan 30|
Unhealthy 158 US AQI
|Tuesday, Jan 31|
Unhealthy 167 US AQI
Unhealthy 180 US AQI
|Thursday, Feb 2|
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 112 US AQI
|Friday, Feb 3|
Moderate 95 US AQI
|Saturday, Feb 4|
Moderate 87 US AQI
|Sunday, Feb 5|
Moderate 98 US AQI
|Monday, Feb 6|
Moderate 93 US AQI
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The air in Sukhothai has been filled with pollution over the last few months, as of the early days of 2022. This will likely continue for the following few months before abating in the middle period of the year. In early February of 2022, a US AQI reading of 117 was taken, placing Sukhothai into the 'unhealthy for sensitive groups' bracket, a rating that can cause respiratory irritation and damage even amongst healthy individuals, and as the name suggests, cause even further damage for those that are vulnerable to the negative effects of pollution, namely young children and babies, pregnant women, the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions. PM2.5 concentrations showed high levels, coming in at 8 times over the World Health Organization's (WHO's) recommendation for a safe level of exposure when the above-mentioned US AQI reading was taken. As such, the air in Sukhothai is currently quite polluted and will likely remain this way for the following month's post-February of 2022.
Polluted air in Sukhothai can arise from a variety of causes, similar to many of those that pollute other provinces and cities throughout Thailand as well as neighboring countries. Vehicle fumes are one of these factors that are of significant concern, although this is particularly more pertinent for the surrounding cities and districts of Bangkok as well as the capital city itself, due to the sizeable number of people living there and commuting in and out daily. Places such as Sukhothai, due to their further northern position, are also far more vulnerable to the smoke, haze and clouds of hazardous particulate matter that can emanate in huge quantities from the burning of both farmlands as well as forested areas, along with the burning of both organic and synthetic waste also contributing (although this becomes less of a problem as time goes on and the practice is halted, staying predominantly within lower-income parts of the country or in rural areas).
Referring back to the pollution caused by vehicles, older and lower quality cars and motorbikes remain prevalent, even though there are many incentives in place to gradually phase them out altogether. This will aid significantly in reducing the pollution levels across major cities of Thailand but may prove much harder to enforce throughout many of the provincial areas, where badly aged motorbikes, cars and trucks are still used. These outdated and low-quality engines leak significantly more noxious oil vapors due to their poor combustion process taking place within the engine, as well as other factors such as use of lower-quality fuel. This causes their exhaust fumes to give out larger clouds of dark smoke, filled with black carbon. Furthermore, vehicles contribute to other forms of particle pollution, with the consistent wear and tear placed on tire treads giving rise to large amounts of microscopic rubber particles entering into the atmosphere. From here they can cause a large number of health issues when inhaled, triggering off pre-existing health conditions as well as potentially invading the bloodstream if their size is small enough, as well as gathering in the environment and damaging various ecosystems. Other causes of pollution present in Sukhothai include smoke and haze from industrial activity, as was mentioned, with various industrial sites, factories, power plants and even private businesses that rely on the combustion of fuels, or even fossil fuels such as diesel, natural gas and coal to provide their energy requirements.
Air pollution in Sukhothai can be extremely detrimental to one’s health, so not only is it dangerous to individuals who live in Sukhothai, but it can also have long-lasting effects that can cause a myriad of health issues in the next generation due to damage to the environment, as well as residual pollutants being left in the soil and water, as well as making their way into the food chain and thus ending up in people. Some more common health issues include dry coughs and accompanying chest infections, along with some ailments that fall under the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) category. These include asthma, bronchitis, emphysema and pneumonia, all of which can be both caused or aggravated by breathing excessive (or even smaller) amounts of pollution in Sukhothai. Other issues include early deaths linked directly to pollution exposure, with terminal illnesses such as various forms of cancer contributing to this. Heart attacks, strokes and many other pulmonary or cardiac issues are all real possibilities when breathing high amounts of air pollution in Sukhothai.
It is most likely to be polluted towards the end of the year in Sukhothai, as well as the early months of the following year also showing signs of higher levels of air pollution. This is based on readings taken from cities all over Thailand, a majority of which see consistent patterns year in year out. Although there are a few exceptions (with some cities seeing ambient levels of relatively high air pollution throughout the year, but lacking the dangerous spikes that are seen in the aforementioned times of the year), Sukhothai is most likely to see the higher air pollution levels at these times (the last few months of the year, typically starting around September, but potentially earlier, all the way through to the end of the year. Furthermore, the early months of the following year continue to see heightened pollution readings, with some of the highest figures of US AQI and PM2.5 cropping up from through to March or even April. As was mentioned, changes can always occur and air quality readings should be kept up to date, with these being available both on this page as well as the AirVisual app.
Some more prominent pollutants that can be found in areas around Sukhothai, 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 Sukhothai are. The aforementioned open burn sites, or slash and burn farming practices, can cause many different 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 well known as the far more dangerous, 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 Sukhothai, 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 Sukhothai, 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.