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| 65 US AQI
PM2.5 concentration in Mueang Nonthaburi is currently 3.8 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value
|Monday, Feb 26
Moderate 89 AQI US
|Tuesday, Feb 27
Moderate 98 AQI US
|Tuesday, Feb 27
Unhealthy for sensitive groups 110 AQI US
Moderate 65 AQI US
|Thursday, Feb 29
Moderate 83 AQI US
|Friday, Mar 1
Moderate 90 AQI US
|Saturday, Mar 2
Moderate 83 AQI US
|Sunday, Mar 3
Moderate 75 AQI US
|Monday, Mar 4
Moderate 72 AQI US
|Tuesday, Mar 5
Moderate 74 AQI US
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Mueang Nonthaburi is a city in Thailand with an extremely close proximity to Bangkok, so much so that it is considered to be part of the suburbs of Bangkok, or greater Bangkok. Having such close proximity to the capital city of Thailand, one would expect the AQI to be of relatively poor quality, which is true to some extent as it actually ranks higher on the list of polluted cities in Thailand than Bangkok, according to data taken from readings in 2019.
However, it still ranks in at 42nd place out of 68 recorded cities registered on the IQAir website, with a yearly average in 2019 giving a PM2.5 reading of 23.2 µg/m³, putting it into the moderately polluted grouping, which requires a reading between 12.1 to 35.4 µg/m³ to find its place here.
This means that the air quality is very similar to that of Bangkok’s, and much of its pollution would come from similar sources. Since it finds itself part of greater Bangkok, there would be an ever-increasing urban expansion and growth happening in the city, as train lines spring up to connect the two cities, along with an increase in population and industry, bringing with it the urban diseases of overcrowding both in regards to cars and people.
In January of 2019 a PM2.5 reading of 70.6 µg/m³ was recorded, putting it for the first month of the year into the unhealthy bracket, which requires a reading between 55.5 to 150.4 µg/m³ to get classified as such. A reading such as this would be hazardous to certain demographics of the population such as the young or elderly, or those at risk with respiratory conditions. Air quality reaching those levels would certainly be bad enough to warrant the wearing of a mask and reducing outdoor activities. Whilst there are far worse cities to be found in Thailand in regards to the levels of pollution and smoke, its moderate ranking, coupled with the spike in PM2.5 at the beginning and end of the year would warrant it to earn an AQI rating that may require attention, particularly from vulnerable individuals who want to stay up to date on the levels of PM10 and other pollutants. Such air quality maps are available on the IQAir website as well as the AirVisual app, that provide daily updates on the level of pollution in the air.
Living in any city around the world with a moderate US AQI rating would potentially cause chronic long-term effects to the health of the person breathing in air pollution. During the worse months, in the case of Mueang Nonthaburi, that would be January and December (if one were to go off the data provided by the 2019 readings, as there is a lack of numbers to go by in years prior) there could be very significant effects on its citizens or visitors breathing in this polluted air.
PM2.5 concentrations of 70.6 µg/m³ as well as 38.9 µg/m³ for January could cause a number of both long- and short-term effects. The short-term effects of being exposed to levels of pollution as captured in January would include aggravation of any preexisting respiratory or cardiovascular diseases, such as bronchitis or emphysema, or coronary artery disease and arrythmia. Other short-term effects can include general irritation to the airways along with the eyes and nose.
Longer term exposure can not only aggravate the aforementioned ailments, but could cause them outright on its own, with PM2.5 being of small enough size to find its way deep into the lung tissue and subsequently into the blood stream. This is when more major issues such as heart attacks, cancer and permanently reduced lung function start to come into the picture. However, these are only possibilities mentioned during the worst months of the year. From February through to November the readings indicate that many individuals would not be at particular risk, save for the occasional occurrence of persistent clouds of smoke and haze that can permeate Bangkok and spread to its neighboring cities and suburbs.
To summarize, living in Mueang Nonthaburi would have no more negative effects on one’s health compared to those living in Bangkok, as long as exposure to more persistent smog and haze is kept under control, through the use of masks and limiting outdoor activity during the periods of high pollution readings.
Due to the close proximity to Bangkok, with many roads and expressways giving easy access to the capital, many people have taken to living in Nonthaburi and then commuting to work in Bangkok. As such, the vehicular emission outputting PM10 and PM2.5 on the increase as the number of cars and buses travelling in and out of the city continue to rise, along with air pollution from construction sites and incinerators, as more people shift from living directly in Bangkok towards Mueang Nonthaburi.
The high number of expressways and roads leading to Bangkok can cause a buildup of pollutants in the air such as sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO) as well as ozone (O3). As previously mentioned, the main causes of a decline in air quality and the buildup of these pollutants are a direct result of population shift, as with an increase in people comes a demand for new places to live, along with all the supporting industries, all of which contribute to a reduced quality of air and higher readings of PM2.5.
An increase in air pollution in cities such as these is inevitable and correlates directly with a country’s economic status, thus affecting the capital city and others nearby. To promote the management of pollution in the air and lessen the amounts of smoke and haze, similar initiatives are being taken to those occurring in Bangkok, with education being of increasing importance. Additionally, the reduction in reliance on cars and instead tending towards shared public transport, promotion of activities such as walking or cycling when possible, as well as an increased focus on the targeting and removal of heavy pollution causing vehicles, specifically older trucks running on diesel fuel with poor quality engines that put out extremely high amounts of noxious smoke and black carbon. However, it still remains to be seen that there are many of these on the road as of 2019, despite a crackdown on their legality.
The city with the cleanest air quality in the whole of Thailand was, according to the yearly PM2.5 recording in 2019, is Phuket. Phuket air quality averaged a PM2.5 rating of 11.4 µg/m³, putting into the ‘good’ grouping which requires a reading between 10 to 12 µg/m³, putting Phuket at only 1.4 µg/m³ over the WHO’s target standard for air quality, making it the only city in Thailand to achieve this rating in 2019.