|3||Uthai Thani, Uthai Thani|
|5||Nakhon Phanom, Nakhon Phanom|
|7||Kamphaeng Phet, Kamphaeng Phet|
|8||Phu Phiang, Nan|
|9||Hang Chat, Lampang|
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Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups|| 103 US AQI||PM2.5|
PM2.5 concentration in Bangkok Yai is currently 7.3 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value
|Thursday, Jan 26|
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 142 US AQI
|Friday, Jan 27|
Unhealthy 152 US AQI
|Saturday, Jan 28|
Moderate 92 US AQI
|Sunday, Jan 29|
Moderate 90 US AQI
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 103 US AQI
|Tuesday, Jan 31|
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 150 US AQI
|Wednesday, Feb 1|
Unhealthy 161 US AQI
|Thursday, Feb 2|
Unhealthy 157 US AQI
|Friday, Feb 3|
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 135 US AQI
|Saturday, Feb 4|
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 141 US AQI
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In mid-January of 2022, Bangkok Yai presented with a US AQI reading of 86, placing it into the 'moderate' air quality rating bracket. This indicates that there is a fair amount of pollution in the air, which whilst it may not be high enough to cause large issues amongst the general public, can still carry with it many harmful effects. Furthermore, Bangkok Yai has seen excessively high pollution readings in December of 2021, as well as higher readings in early January before the above-mentioned US AQI figure was quoted. This indicates that Bangkok Yai is subject to sudden fluctuations in pollution levels, and as such caution should be exercised amongst its population, due to sudden spikes in air pollution often carrying with them many dangerous side effects, which will be discussed in further detail in short.
Air pollution in Bangkok Yai comes from many different diverse sources, as one would expect from a city that is part of the greater Bangkok region. The types of air pollution (with some of the names of pollutants and chemical compounds being discussed later in the article) can vary largely from area to area, with the volume of certain pollutants being much higher depending on the anthropogenic and industrial activity taking place. Weather conditions can also play a part in the role of elevated pollution levels. Regarding the sources of air pollution in Bangkok Yai, vehicle exhaust fumes are always a fairly prominent cause for concern, especially for the surrounding cities and districts of Bangkok, due to the large number of people living outside of the direct city center. With this in mind, it is common to see large amounts of the inhabitants of Bangkok Yai made their daily transit into Bangkok city center for work on a daily basis, causing rush hour traffic to occur which gives off significant amounts of unsafe particles, clouds of smoke, haze and smog as these vehicles transit out of Bangkok Yai. Older and lower grade vehicles remain prevalent, even though there are many incentives in place to slowly phase them out entirely. This will assist enormously in lowering 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 bygone 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 induces their exhaust fumes to give out more excessive amounts of soot and smoke, with heavy amounts of black carbon in it. Furthermore, vehicles also contribute to other forms of particle pollution, with the constant erosion on tire treads over long periods giving rise to large amounts of tiny rubber particles entering into the air. From here they can induce a large number of health issues when inhaled, triggering off pre-existing health disorders as well as potentially swarming the bloodstream if their size is small enough, as well as accumulating in the environment and harming assorted ecosystems. Other causes of pollution present in Bangkok Yai comprise smoke and haze from industrial activity, as was cited, with various industrial sites, factories and power plants that rely on the combustion of fuels, or even fossil fuels such as diesel, natural gas and coal to provide their energy needs.
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 Bangkok Yai 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.
Some of the inhabitants of Bangkok Yai that can be considered to be more at risk of suffering from negative reactions (and in some cases much more significant effects) from pollution exposure are people such as the elderly, as well as those with compromised immune systems or pre-existing health conditions, being worsened by other factors and comorbidities such sedentary lifestyle, or habits such as smoking. Other people that may need to take to stay clear from clouds of smoke, smog and haze include pregnant women, those with hypersensitivity towards chemical pollutants, as well as young children and babies. These are all people that should monitor air pollution levels closely and take preventative measures when the US AQI or PM2.5 readings get excessively high, as the smoke, haze and other damaging particles can cause many health issues amongst these groups.
Some more prominent pollutants that can be found in areas around Bangkok Yai as well as surrounding cities in the greater Bangkok region include ones that mainly emanate from combustion sources. These can include ones such as the nationwide issue of open burn fires (although of note this affects Bangkok and its satellite cities far less, and is more prevalent in northern regions of the country as well as in other provincial areas that still have larger amounts of farmland present), combustion from vehicle engines as well as boilers in factories and other industrial sites. Some of the main pollutants released when any form of combustion takes place are ones such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), as well as black carbon, along with 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 Bangkok Yai, 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 Bangkok Yai, 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.