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|1||Pai, Mae Hong Son|
|2||Mae Taeng, Chiang Mai|
|3||Chiang Rai, Chiang Rai|
|4||Mae Sai, Chiang Rai|
|5||Mae Hong Son, Mae Hong Son|
|6||Thung Chang, Nan|
|8||San Pa Tong, Chiang Mai|
|9||Wiang Chai, Chiang Rai|
(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
|1||Muang Wan, Moo 4|
|2||Nam Phong Hospital|
(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
live AQI index
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Unhealthy|| 153 US AQI||PM2.5|
PM2.5 concentration in Nam Phong is currently 11.9 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value
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| Run an air purifier|
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| Avoid outdoor exercise|
|Wednesday, Mar 22|
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 139 US AQI
|Thursday, Mar 23|
Unhealthy 152 US AQI
|Friday, Mar 24|
Unhealthy 152 US AQI
|Saturday, Mar 25|
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 128 US AQI
Unhealthy 153 US AQI
|Monday, Mar 27|
Moderate 84 US AQI
|Tuesday, Mar 28|
Moderate 97 US AQI
|Wednesday, Mar 29|
Moderate 92 US AQI
|Thursday, Mar 30|
Moderate 92 US AQI
|Friday, Mar 31|
Moderate 81 US AQI
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Nam Phong has shown some high levels of air pollution throughout 2020, with many months coming in with fairly dangerous readings of PM2.5, one of the most dangerous forms of pollution. In early September of 2021, as well as a majority of August, mild elevations in pollution were seen over many days of the two months, although they were not too extreme. A US AQI reading of 63 was on record in September of 2021, which placed Nam Phong into the 'moderate' air quality rating bracket. This is color-coded as yellow (which is in use on the various air quality maps, graphs and forecasts present on this page as well as throughout the IQAir website, with each pollution rating having its corresponding color, with lighter colors indicating a more optimal level of air quality, and darker ones indicating higher levels of pollution), and requires a US AQI reading of 51 to 100 to be classified as such.
Other US AQI readings that were taken in the same period include lows of 28 and 23, both of which fall into the 'good' air quality rating bracket, as well as highs of 101, which would be classified as being 'unhealthy for sensitive groups', indicating a higher level of danger for those in the population of Nam Phong.
Whilst a majority of pollution in Nam Phong is caused by smoke coming directly from fires, or slash and burn farming practices, other sources of pollution present can contribute to the year-round ambient readings of PM2.5 as well as the current US AQI reading. However, as it still stands smoke from fires remains the largest contributor to air pollution levels, although fortunately, they are not a year-round occurrence. The cessation of such fires would improve air quality levels by significant amounts in many cities and provinces throughout Thailand, although difficulty in enforcing the laws and getting farmers to stop their open burning remains a constant battle, with the fires usually continuing unabated through the latter period of the year through to the early months of the following year.
Other sources of air pollution include fumes from cars, motorbikes, and heavier freight vehicles such as lorries, trucks and buses. Many tons of ultrafine rubber particles can be cast out into the air from residual wear and tear of tire treads, contaminating the atmosphere, as well as bodies of water and the soil, which can have a harmful effect on wildlife and the environment. Construction sites, demolition sites and road repairs all contribute to higher levels of particle pollution, particularly when they are poorly maintained and proper cleaning protocols are not adhered to, such as the washing away of concrete or gravel dust, as well as leaving piles of sand uncovered.
PM2.5, as touched on before, is any particle that is 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter. It can go down to sizes many microns smaller, and depending on the materials it is made up from, this can have further-reaching effects on the health of those who breathe it. Coming into contact with ultrafine particles is a difficult task, particularly in more polluted cities or areas, and overexposure or excessive breathing of PM2.5 over longer periods can lead to quantities making its way into the bloodstream, causing damage to the blood vessels, raising rates of cancer as well as affecting the cardiac and pulmonary systems.
PM2.5 can be made up from metals, dust, silica and gravel particles, vapor droplets such as water or other liquids, nitrates and sulfates, as well as mold, bacteria, soot and a myriad of other harmful materials. During bouts of high pollution caused by fires in Nam Phong, the PM2.5 count will be significantly elevated, with particles such as soot being more prevalent in the air. The wearing of fine particle filtering masks can aid in the reduction of certain materials being breathed, and avoiding outdoor activity as well as keeping indoor pollution levels low (by sealing off doors and windows and running indoor air purifiers, if available) can all aid greatly in reducing the danger posed by particle pollution exposure.
Health issues that can occur from breathing excessive (or even smaller amounts) of pollution include ones such as dry coughs, chest pain, and infections of the respiratory tract. With larger particles (PM10), irritation to the mucous membranes can occur, with the eyes, ears, nose and mouth all being subject to potential irritation, as well as the skin also being affected. Rashes can break out or allergic reactions can occur, particularly amongst those that have a hypersensitive disposition towards certain chemicals or fine particles. Other skin conditions include acne, psoriasis, eczema and atopic dermatitis, although these can generally clear up when exposure to pollution is lessened or halted outright, along with the more surface-level respiratory irritation or ailments.
Other more serious conditions that can occur include those that fall under the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) bracket, and these include ones as aggravated forms of asthma (which can flare up during bouts of high pollution), along with pneumonia, bronchitis and emphysema. These all lessen the lung’s ability to take in a full breath of air, which can also occur from continuous inflammation or scarring of the lung tissue. Other health issues include damage to the nervous or endocrine systems, along with stunted mental and physical growth, which can occur in younger children or infants, who are still undergoing vital formative stages of their life, and alterations to the nervous system may result in many defects. Rates of heart attacks can go up, along with ischemic heart disease, arrhythmias, strokes, and premature death, as a direct result of pollution exposure.
Based on readings of PM2.5 taken throughout 2020, it can be seen that Nam Phong had its highest pollution bouts in March through to May, as well as November and December. Out of all of these, February had the highest reading at 74.5 μg/m³, placing it in the 'unhealthy' rating bracket, the only month of the year to be categorized as such.
June through to August had the most optimal levels of air quality, all of which came in within the World Health Organization's (WHO's) target goal of 10 μg/m³ or less. Their respective readings were 9.2 μg/m³, 9 μg/m³ and 9.5 μg/m³, indicating that the air during this time was significantly freer from polluting clouds of smoke and haze, as well as fine particles and other chemical contaminants.
Data sources 1