EARTH Thailand

Bangkok air quality ‘extremely unhealthy’ since Saturday

The Nation 24 January 2018 | Pratch Rujivanarom

The air quality in Bangkok has been extremely unhealthy throughout the week, with the level of particles sized at equal to or smaller than 2.5 microns (PM2.5) reached over 200 micrograms per cubic metre of air.

This is according to the air-quality monitoring website,, which revealed that the Air Quality Index (AQI) gathered by the Pollution Control Department on Wednesday showed that the level of PM2.5 in Bangkok has been well beyond the safe average since Saturday. It also forecast that air quality would remain low throughout the week.

As of Wednesday morning, the website showed that PM2.5 measurement in Bangkok reached the level of 174 micrograms at the monitoring station in the Public Relations Department. 

The five-day record showed that the highest level of PM2.5 at this station was 213 micrograms in Monday morning.

According to Thai standards, the safe level of PM2.5 is 50 micrograms, but the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended daily average level of PM2.5 is 25 micrograms.

Smog has covered Bangkok throughout the week, greatly lowering visibility. 

According to an earlier Greenpeace report, Bangkok ranked second on the list of Thai cities that suffered the most from air pollution in 2017. Heavy traffic in the city is regarded as the major reason for bad air quality.

The annual average of PM2.5 level of Bangkok in 2017 was 31 micrograms, which is far higher than the WHO-recommended yearly average of 10 micrograms.

Disease Control Department warned that the size of the particulate matter was so small that it could pass through lungs into the blood. PM2.5 was proven to cause many diseases, such as heart disease, respiratory diseases, allergies, and eye and skin irritation.