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Chiang Mai Air Quality & Pollution


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Poor grammar notwithstanding, I assume you reside somewhere other than the city environs? CM city and immediate suburbs have no major pollution, just the dust from 2 months of no rain, and vehicl

In my experience, many of the people demanding perfection from Thailand and the environment are people who neglect their health on so many levels.  Many smoke, drink, are overweight, drive dangerously

I am sorry to disappoint you with my grammar, although I speak other languages, English is not my native language.  I also assume that you have perfectly understood my words, I don’t need Your critici

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On 11/13/2019 at 1:56 PM, Ron jeremy said:

What a rediculously stupid thing to say

u know the air is killing you, but u accept it knowing it’s going to take years off your life

and to those that go outside with masks on!!!!

what a life

i guess living in a place with clean air may not be a god idea?

Desperation and/or addiction is powerful.

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On 11/13/2019 at 10:20 AM, villagefarang said:

In my experience, many of the people demanding perfection from Thailand and the environment are people who neglect their health on so many levels.  Many smoke, drink, are overweight, drive dangerously and have anger problems.  

 

I do sometimes have slight allergy like symptoms but have no heart or lung issues and I do modify my exercise and lifestyle depending on the weather and how I feel.  If I am wrong and my environment knocks a few years off my life expectancy, and I die at 90 instead of 95, like many of my relatives, I will accept that.  My mother smoked most of her life, only stopping in her later years, and still lived into her 90s.  One of my greatest worries, is living too long.

 

I am happy to let people make choices about their own lives and how they want to live but I expect to be allowed the same freedom of choice.  The internet being what it is, we mainly hear from the angry unhappy folks and I simply want to represent my own personal opinions which are somewhat less negative.

 

 

The worst part about living too long is that you have to struggle with the pain of your friends and family dying off.

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also this, which showed average (and a lot of days where it was not responding). make note that an average of 435 during the day, it could have been much higher, I saw my meter lock up at 500 quite a few times.

 

image.png.9b75ae198078bfa5b0791dabb97d52ce.png

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not a good start to the season. november pm2.5 around 25, above average. very unhealthy but no one seems to care yet. brace yourselves for dec-may. 

 

 

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Too much emphasis on ppm2.5

 

Burning of farm waste across India Pakistan Burma isn't going away and it will continue to add to north Thailands annual smoky season for decades.  Get used to it.  Geographically, we can't avoid natural weather patterns which exacerbate the local burning.

 

Nano air particles are not measured yet they are the pollutants which invade your bloodstream.  Mainly found alongside busy roads where vehicle emissions are high, the Nano particles are deadly compared with (say) rice chaff 2.5ppm smoke.

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^ I agree with 99% of what you say however my point was that the 2.5pm AQI measurement does not provide adequate information about pollutants nor any measure of nano particles.  The latter are those which can enter the bloodstream. 

 

Harmful pollutants from vehicle exhausts will be most concentrated at kerbside, road level, and diminish upwards and outwards from the source.  Industrial and commercial pollutants from burning plastics, power stations etc are more harmful than paddy field burn off.  These harmful levels are NOT measured in Thailand as in say Hong Kong, UK and most of EU.   Put it this way, if the AQI reading was say 300 alongside a paddy field burn off compared with a similar reading on Nimmenhaemin road during rush hour, which is more harmful?  The latter is obviously extremely noxious due to the chemical content, most of which are nano particles.  Nano particles can't be measured by current AQ meters, so the chemical analysis provides a good warning system.

 

If you're in the air above Thailand regularly during the worst of the smoky season you can plainly see the air currents which sweep smoke across 4 or more countries, from West to east.  Burma and Mae Hong Son smoke sweeps into the Chiang mai and other northern province valleys and is trapped by temperature inversion.  Yes, you are correct, Thailand contribute s to the phenomena.

 

We avoid driving in rush hour thru cities, even when AQI says it is safe as it's the Nano particles which do the most damage long term and they are more concentrated inside a vehicle than larger particles which may have been filtered out by your aircon system.

 

The current AQI 2.5pm system is not the best AQ indicator and requires a better understanding by those of us who live with the smoke and pollution.  For my part, I suffer no adverse effects on a bad day out in the country other than a few very dirty nose blows.  The larger 2.5pm particles being dust, earth or ash particles and they do not enter your bloodstream.  They will irritate those with breathing difficulties.

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On 11/27/2019 at 8:31 AM, McTavish said:

^ I agree with 99% of what you say however my point was that the 2.5pm AQI measurement does not provide adequate information about pollutants nor any measure of nano particles.  The latter are those which can enter the bloodstream. 

 

Harmful pollutants from vehicle exhausts will be most concentrated at kerbside, road level, and diminish upwards and outwards from the source.  Industrial and commercial pollutants from burning plastics, power stations etc are more harmful than paddy field burn off.  These harmful levels are NOT measured in Thailand as in say Hong Kong, UK and most of EU.   Put it this way, if the AQI reading was say 300 alongside a paddy field burn off compared with a similar reading on Nimmenhaemin road during rush hour, which is more harmful?  The latter is obviously extremely noxious due to the chemical content, most of which are nano particles.  Nano particles can't be measured by current AQ meters, so the chemical analysis provides a good warning system.

 

If you're in the air above Thailand regularly during the worst of the smoky season you can plainly see the air currents which sweep smoke across 4 or more countries, from West to east.  Burma and Mae Hong Son smoke sweeps into the Chiang mai and other northern province valleys and is trapped by temperature inversion.  Yes, you are correct, Thailand contribute s to the phenomena.

 

We avoid driving in rush hour thru cities, even when AQI says it is safe as it's the Nano particles which do the most damage long term and they are more concentrated inside a vehicle than larger particles which may have been filtered out by your aircon system.

 

The current AQI 2.5pm system is not the best AQ indicator and requires a better understanding by those of us who live with the smoke and pollution.  For my part, I suffer no adverse effects on a bad day out in the country other than a few very dirty nose blows.  The larger 2.5pm particles being dust, earth or ash particles and they do not enter your bloodstream.  They will irritate those with breathing difficulties.

I often wonder what about the chemicals sprayed on the rice fields is it destroyed by the burning or does some evaporate into the air as a toxin, or does it seep down into the water table then get pumped back into the towns water supply?

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On 11/27/2019 at 8:31 AM, McTavish said:

For my part, I suffer no adverse effects on a bad day out in the country other than a few very dirty nose blows.  The larger 2.5pm particles being dust, earth or ash particles and they do not enter your bloodstream.  They will irritate those with breathing difficulties.

Cool!  So no worries about lung cancer, emphysema, coronary problems. I don't feel a thing, yet.

 

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On 11/26/2019 at 6:01 PM, McTavish said:

Too much emphasis on ppm2.5

 

Burning of farm waste across India Pakistan Burma isn't going away and it will continue to add to north Thailands annual smoky season for decades.  Get used to it.  Geographically, we can't avoid natural weather patterns which exacerbate the local burning.

 

Nano air particles are not measured yet they are the pollutants which invade your bloodstream.  Mainly found alongside busy roads where vehicle emissions are high, the Nano particles are deadly compared with (say) rice chaff 2.5ppm smoke.

I find this info very interesting concerning the nano particles.  Have ofter thought about the ill effects of some many folks here living immediately next to roads and highways, often with their business as well, basically 24 hours a day.  Could this contribute to the prevalence of various cancers on the increase in Thailand.  Perhaps the health ministry folks could conduct a study of this, but the data available might not be accurate.

I will add that where I live in CR, in the farming area, almost all the fields have finished burning by end of Jan.  Last year we had clear sky until the evening of the day the burn ban went into effect, can't figure that one out, and I saw first hand very smokey skies that evening!!!

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Why is air quality bad in winter?

The cooler air is trapped under the warm air above that forms a kind of atmospheric 'lid'. This phenomenon is called winter inversion. ... During summers, pollution levels decrease as the warmer air rises up freely, making the boundary layer thicker, and providing enough space for pollutants to disperse.... (not unless you live in ChiangMai)
 
.......I was surprised to have gotten some high monitor readings since after this chill arrived.
The air quality to me doesn't seem to have that same raw twang of smokiness that we all have come to know.
Its more like old fashion 'industrial' byproduct. Anyways,numbers are numbers and so I still have the air purifiers running...the fans & AC can finally rest.

 

 

 

Edited by HaleySabai
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While that could be totally valid there is a more complete and predictable equation why air quality is bad in winter in Thailand: no rain. When it rains in the dry season the air gets good. When it doesn't rain in the wet season the air gets bad. Rain or lack of is the key factor. Simple rule: no rain = bad air, rain = good air no matter what time of year. Quite simply air quality is a function of dryness. If it stops raining on any arbitrary day of the year you can set your watch to what will happen: several sunny days go by and the air quality will start plunging as more and more people burn stuff as it gets dryer and dryer. AQI now is drifting to 100 and beyond. I see so many people burning wood to stay warm and wonder how much this contributes to the bad air during cold spells.

 

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3 hours ago, ChristianBlessing said:

I still marvel at the motorbike rider wearing no helmet but wearing a filter mask, or the guy who has to remove his N95 filter to take a puff off his cigarette.

I’m not condoning driving without 

 a helmet, one saved my life, but in terms of risk, I can understand why someone would wear a mask and not a helmet, especially if putting around on side roads or in the village.

 

It’s 100% certain you will breath toxic fumes without a mask. There’s no escaping it. You need a mask.

 

However, the odds of having a motorbike accident are fairly low if you’re not driving like an idiot, not speeding, and are alert. The risk is even lower that you would but your head during an accident that didn’t involve speed. 
 

We are all going to breath today, all day. Probably none of us will have an accident today, or at least one that involves head trauma. 

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I really do not understand this.

I have been here since 2016 every winter, never seen it like this.

Why is the air quality now at smoky season levels and two days ago at airport area the sky looked greyish, not the normal clear/blue colour.

Is smoky season now six month? December until/including May?

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Every indication is this is going to be another bad year for Chiang Mai, perhaps even exceeding last year. 

Anyone thinking about moving to CM should reconsider and those currently in CM should make plans to spend the next several months in a healthier climate or move out all together. 

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18 minutes ago, elephant45 said:

It will never get better.

Of course it will, there is no choice. Western countries were dumping barrels of nuclear waste in the oceans in the 70's, we had acid rain in Europe, London had its fair share of smog, the rivers were heavily polluted. Things and time have changed an so it will here, but it will take some time with ignorance and apathy being the largest obstacles.

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18 minutes ago, SoilSpoil said:

Things and time have changed an so it will here, but it will take some time with ignorance and apathy being the largest obstacles.

Poverty may be a larger obstacle.  The poor forrage the forest for mushrooms.  The poor also accept deals from big business to grow corn.  Burning for corn and mushrooms takes place at the peak pollution period before the rainy season.  Rice burning is spread out since there are 2 or 3 crops per year. 

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31 minutes ago, Dante99 said:

Poverty may be a larger obstacle.  The poor forrage the forest for mushrooms.  The poor also accept deals from big business to grow corn.  Burning for corn and mushrooms takes place at the peak pollution period before the rainy season.  Rice burning is spread out since there are 2 or 3 crops per year. 

That is one of your better posts, an informed opinion.  

 

As to why we have minor pollution this early, in winter, one should remember that November saw little or no rain and high temperatures dried things out to create dust and an ideal rice chaff burn.

Current haze contains as much dust as smoke.

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On 12/14/2019 at 8:27 AM, cerox said:

I really do not understand this.

I have been here since 2016 every winter, never seen it like this.

Why is the air quality now at smoky season levels and two days ago at airport area the sky looked greyish, not the normal clear/blue colour.

Is smoky season now six month? December until/including May?

Thailand 4.0 

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12 hours ago, canopy said:

Blaming big business for the problem is just so, so off the mark.

You are probably unaware of the extensive corn planting promotion by big business and the degree to which the implementation of those programs lines up with the recent years increases in pollution.  It is not hard to find out and is generally accepted as a major factor contributing to the bad air.

 

12 hours ago, canopy said:

I am afraid they simply enjoy doing all these things and no one really cares about the air.

Again uninformed.

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I wish that Land Transport would be mentioned here too. How on earth do thee super diesel polluting trucks get out on the road. If I get behind one I turn off my air con and try to get by as fast as possible. I've also seen all sectors of gov burning huge piles of plastic and whatever in plain view in various places which blows me away. Sometimes I think the more we complain the more they do it! "Hey farang no like this, let's do it"

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