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Bangkok air pollution at ‘critical levels’

Bangkok air pollution at ‘critical levels’

The Pollution Control Department has reported that air quality within Bangkok has reached critical pollution levels.

Wijarn Simachaya – Deputy Director General of the Pollution Control Department at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment – revealed that statistics from a survey of the air quality in Bangkok during 1997-2010, confirmed that dust particles smaller than 10 microns in diameter were measured at 55.3 micrograms per cubic meter per year. This level exceeds the ‘normal level’ of 50 micrograms by 4 percent.

The ozone level was also found to be higher than the acceptable level by 0.2 percent, and ‘volatile organic compounds’ (VOCs) – caused by burning activities – were recorded at 3.6 micrograms per cubic meter per year, much higher than the maximum acceptable level of 1.7 micrograms.

Excessive noise pollution was also reported.

Dr Wijarn pointed out that areas with the most severe pollution problems included Din Daeng and Lat Phrao Intersections, where traffic congestion was usually prevalent.

Without proper control measures, the level of pollution in those areas could continue rising further.

In response to the results of the survey, the Deputy Director General said that the Pollution Control Department would work with the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, as well as other relevant agencies, in brainstorming ideas for formulating an operational plan aimed at solving the pollution problem within Bangkok during 2011-2016.

It will be the country’s first concrete long-term environmental management plan.

According to Dr Wijarn, the plan will be discussed during the meeting of the National Environment Board, prior to its submission to the Cabinet for approval on its budget allocation.

Photo: totobobo

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