|2||Chaloem Phra Kiat, Sara Buri|
|3||Thawi Watthana, Bangkok|
|4||Sam Phran, Nakhon Pathom|
|5||Nakhon Pathom, Nakhon Pathom|
|6||Hat Yai, Songkhla|
|7||Nakhon Si Thammarat, Nakhon Si Thammarat|
|8||Nong Bua Lamphu, Nong Bua Lamphu|
|9||Warin Chamrap, Changwat Ubon Ratchathani|
|10||Bang Na, Bangkok|
(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
live AQI index
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups|| 112 US AQI||PM2.5|
|PM2.5|| 40 µg/m³|
PM2.5 concentration in Hat Yai air is currently 4 times above the WHO annual air quality guideline value
|Tuesday, Sep 14|
Moderate 63 US AQI
|Wednesday, Sep 15|
Moderate 65 US AQI
|Thursday, Sep 16|
Moderate 72 US AQI
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 112 US AQI
|Saturday, Sep 18|
Good 31 US AQI
|Sunday, Sep 19|
Good 25 US AQI
|Monday, Sep 20|
Good 24 US AQI
|Tuesday, Sep 21|
Good 25 US AQI
|Wednesday, Sep 22|
Good 22 US AQI
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As with all major cities throughout the world, air quality in Hat Yai is poor because of the huge amount of vehicles driving into the city, daily. The construction industry also contributes through the production of dust from the demolition of existing buildings to the construction of new-builds. And due to its proximity to Indonesia, their dirty air can be carried to Hat Yai on the prevailing winds.
In September 2019 it was pollutants from the Indonesian forest fires that caused a large rise in the recorded levels of PM2.5 fine particulate matter. The figures were recorded as being more than 3 times the recommended level by the World Health Organisation (WHO). PM2.5 figures of 51 µg/m³ were recorded for three consecutive days. In November just 1 year later these figures were completely different with levels of just 5.6 µg/m³.
Air quality undeniably impacts public health. The figures released from Hat Yai Subdistrict, Hat Yai District, Songkhla Province on 24th September 2019 at 9 am, found that the amount of particulate matter, on average, over a 24 hour period, the amount of dust particles size, not more than 2.5 microns (PM 2.5) was equal to 69 µg/m³ (the standard value of 50 µg/m³) was in the early stages of affecting health. And the amount of particulate matter size 10 microns (PM 10) is 80 µg/m³. (Standard value not more than 120 µg/m³).During this period, people are encouraged to wear a face mask when travelling outside and to close the windows to prevent the dirty air from entering.
The railway junction in Hat Yai has become the main transportation hub in southern Thailand. Indeed, it is the largest station in the south. As it is an international station, Hat Yai has over 28 trains pass through the hub each day. 26 of these are operated by the Thai State Railway with the remaining two being operated by KTMB of Malaysia. It is no wonder then that the air is polluted with so many trains passing through each day. Running parallel to the tracks is the Asian Highway 2 which runs all the way down the Malay Peninsula.
Because of its strategic location, the city bus terminal is also a major transportation hub. Buses operate from here and connect Hat Yai with nearly all large cities in Southern Thailand as well as other destinations such as Bangkok and Korat or Nakhon Ratchasima as it is also called.
The airport which is situated just 9 kilometres from the city centre was upgraded to international status in 1972. It is regarded as an important gateway to Mecca by the many Muslims who use it for that purpose. During times of extreme haze, some aircraft are not permitted to land, due to reduce visibility. There are, instead re-directed to nearby airports.
A considerable percentage of polluted air in Hat Yai is blown in from forest fires in Indonesia and Sumatra. Not much can be done by Thailand to alleviate this problem. Rain at this time of year is always welcome as it greatly reduces air-born particles by “washing “the air clean.
As with any large city throughout the world, most pollution is produced by the burning of fossil fuels, both in vehicles and in coal-fired powers stations. The general public is more aware than ever as to the detrimental effects of breathing in poor quality air can have. More air quality monitoring stations are being inaugurated and their figures are openly available for anyone to see on IQAIR. They use a colour-coded system so it is easy to recognise the state of air quality at any given time. Figures published fall into 6 categories ranging from good to hazardous.
Residents are encouraged to use public transport, where available, thus eliminating the use of private vehicles. Local governments consider operating “greener” buses which use clean renewable energy, or better still, are electric-powered. Factories which were built years ago and the city has grown around them are relocating to newly created industrial zones on the outskirts of the city. Their existing footprint could be planted with trees and other greenery as a way of breaking the flow of dust particles through the city. Harmful gases such as sulphur oxide (SO), sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) are found in the emissions from many of these factories as are carbon monoxide (CO) and ozone (O3).
The WHO (World Health Organisation) reports that over 95 per cent of the world population has no access to clean air and go on to say that they have found that pollution of the environment is the 4th highest cause of death after smoking, malnutrition, high blood pressure, cancer and diabetes.
Cleaner fuel could be made available for motor vehicles and some of the older ones which cause most pollution need to be taken off the road and scrapped. Electric vehicles (EVs) are thought to be the ideal answer to reducing city centre pollution. Although these are still in the development stage and could be several years before they really start to make a difference.
Breathing in polluted air is always detrimental to health, even to the health of an otherwise healthy person. Certain groups of people are particularly vulnerable. These can include the elderly, children, those with pre-existing medical conditions and pregnant women. Those suffering from cardiovascular disease, dermatitis and respiratory disease need to take special care and avoid entering areas where small dust particulates are higher than standard values. If necessary, people are encouraged to wear a mask and glasses and a long-sleeved shirt to prevent dust.
Even lesser symptoms such as fatigue, sore eyes and throat and itchy skin are unpleasant. Gargling with salt water can help alleviate a sore throat.