|1||Warin Chamrap, Changwat Ubon Ratchathani|
|3||Phu Phiang, Nan|
|4||Uthai Thani, Uthai Thani|
|5||Kamphaeng Phet, Kamphaeng Phet|
|7||Nam Khun, Changwat Ubon Ratchathani|
|8||Nakhon Phanom, Nakhon Phanom|
|10||Ubon Ratchathani, Changwat Ubon Ratchathani|
(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
live AQI index
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Moderate|| 80 US AQI||PM2.5|
PM2.5 concentration in Photharam is currently 5.2 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value
| Close your windows to avoid dirty outdoor air|
GET A MONITOR
| Sensitive groups should reduce outdoor exercise|
|Friday, Feb 3|
Unhealthy 151 US AQI
|Saturday, Feb 4|
Moderate 90 US AQI
|Sunday, Feb 5|
Moderate 83 US AQI
Moderate 80 US AQI
|Tuesday, Feb 7|
Moderate 97 US AQI
|Wednesday, Feb 8|
Moderate 92 US AQI
|Thursday, Feb 9|
Moderate 97 US AQI
|Friday, Feb 10|
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 106 US AQI
|Saturday, Feb 11|
Moderate 97 US AQI
|Sunday, Feb 12|
Moderate 100 US AQI
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Observing the pollution readings present in Photharam, towards the end of 2021, US AQI readings of 139 were seen, a significant figure that placed Photharam into the 'unhealthy for sensitive groups' rating bracket. This level of air pollution and reduced air quality can have a number of detrimental effects on many members of the population within Photharam, due to the increased amounts of smoke, haze and clouds of particles found in the air. Those who are considered as being more vulnerable are discussed in the third question of the article regarding at-risk groups. Whilst the air quality in Photharam does not maintain such an elevated level of pollution throughout the year, it must be noted, that like many cities and provinces throughout Thailand, the pollution levels will start to rise towards the end of the year (with the magnitude of these elevations being affected by location, as well as other factors such as natural topography, as well as meteorological events such as a lack of strong winds and rain allowing pollution to build up to dangerous levels). Thus, it can be said that the air pollution levels in Photharam may be unsafe for many people during the end of the year, as well as the early months of the following year. Preventative measures should be employed by those that wish to keep their exposure to a minimum and reduce the negative health effects that come from such exposure. These include avoiding outdoor activities, particularly ones that require physical exertion such as exercise. Doors and windows can also be kept closed to prevent polluted air from raising indoor pollution levels, as well as air purifiers being run if they are available.
Some of the more prominent factors involved in heightened levels of air pollution in Photharam are ones of combustion taking place across many factories and industrial sites. Of note is that there is the well-known issue of open burn sites or slash and burn farming practices taking place. These can cause pollution levels to spike rapidly as the air becomes permeated with smoke and haze released from the burning, with secondary pollutants such as ozone, or smog as it is more commonly referred to, being formed as a result of many chemical pollutants being exposed to solar radiation, thus forcing a reaction to take place, leading to the buildup of ozone. Other prominent factors that also contribute to increased US AQI and PM2.5 readings in Photharam include emissions from cars, buses, trucks and lorries, with the larger vehicles often running on diesel fuel. Older vehicles that remain in use throughout Thailand, particularly in areas outside of major cities, can further contribute to pollution levels, due to poor quality and heavily aged engines putting out far more noxious oil vapors and particles than newer or better quality models may do. Other sources of air pollution in Photharam include emissions from power plants and factories, both of which can also rely on fossil fuels such as natural gas and coal for their power, along with large amounts of fine particles often being released from construction sites and road repairs, which if poorly maintained can lead to large elevations in the particle pollution count present in the surrounding areas.
Certain people that can be considered to be more at risk from the negative side effects of pollution exposure in Photharam are groups such as the elderly, those with compromised immune systems, or those with pre-existing health conditions. 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. Younger inhabitants who are still undergoing their vital formative years of growth are very susceptible to adverse and sometimes permanent health problems as a result of pollution exposure, with changes to the nervous system causing stunted physical growth as well as mental impairment (in more extreme cases, or depending on an individual’s disposition and other factors involved).
Some more prominent pollutants that can be found in areas around Photharam 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 Photharam are. Whilst the aforementioned open burn fires, or slash and burn farming practices as they are more commonly referred to, are of much greater concern in the northern regions of the country, they can still be found to a lesser degree dotted around various provinces of Thailand, and can cause large amounts of 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 considerably easier to breathe, and would be found prevalently around inhabited areas of Photharam, due to their release from everything from fires, cars, factories as well as even from household items. VOCs are one of the main 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 Photharam, 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.
Health problems and other issues which can occur during higher pollution episodes in Photharam include cases of irritation to the respiratory tract, as well as infections of the lungs and throat. Skin conditions can occur from smoke and haze exposure, including atopic dermatitis, acne, eczema and psoriasis. Further conditions include those that fall under the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) bracket, which includes illnesses such as pneumonia, bronchitis, asthma, as well as emphysema. Other more serious health issues include arrhythmias, as well as heightened rates of heart attacks, strokes and premature death, all of which can be directly linked to excess pollution exposure, with many studies highlighting this fact throughout recent history. This places a greater amount of emphasis on the importance of keeping oneself safe from pollution exposure throughout Photharam, particularly during the months that have the highest readings of PM2.5 and US AQI.