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Chiang Mai Air Quality & Pollution


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Oct-Jan/Feb was always nice years gone by if memory serves, so this is sad if it's coming in earlier. While I empathise with you good folk, complaining how they do things or how 'stupid' they are won't achieve anything. Remember we're all nobodies and choose to be there at the end of the day. Left a long time ago, with the pollution for kids and busying up of the place being factors. Have a whinge by all means, but just move to the coast (at least for part of the year) if it really gets to you. Having all that filtration and locking oneself up seems a bit limiting.

All the best.

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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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7 hours ago, saengd said:

Diary of an expat in Chiang Mai:

 

November to December - bitch about the cold nights

January to May - bitch about the heat and the pollution

June to September - bitch about the heat and the rain

October - enjoy

 

I would have said 'October - lay around, disgruntled, because there is nothing to bitch about.

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The rice farmers in California ( yes, lots of rice in Calf.) are permitted to burn no more than 25% of their fields each year depending on wind and permitting. Why would such intensively and scientifically grown rice need burned fields? It is the most effective way of surpassing persistent pests.

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Don't want upset anyone, but I'm sure it's not only 'the people' in Thailand responsible?

No.

We see them burning, but the major problem might lie far west and far north east.

Some weeks ago I noticed (like last year) greyish/brownish high clouds floating from NE.

The AQI-level remained relatively ok.

Since a couple of days the winds blewing from the west (for better understanding,

from India) brought a significant increase of fine dust particles PM2.5 in northern Thailand.

It's so easy, isn't it?

It's obvious if you have a look at the pictures, where most of this dirt comes from.

May be next week, next month it could  blow in from China.

Sorry, China. It's my opinion and my experience.

But China has done a lot of improvements  over the last years. This is to appreciate .

Everything might be worse.

Think about all this slash and burn everywhere, then the CM-vehicles,

the mushroom burnies and so on. - Oh, yes, there are some neighbouring countries

giving a sh!t on all this.

 

Only two copies, Dec. 25 and 27

image.png.20d1851930f6012be5c9cae636316462.png

 

image.png.1ecce1ba2033b9b3de15622148c6c19c.png

http://berkeleyearth.org

 

Btw, there might be a connex between dirt in the air and the lignite fired powerplants

Mae Sot, near Tak and Mae Moh near Lampang.

I would appreciate any idea.

Thanks.

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• Fine particles. The smallest particles (those 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter) are called “fine” particles. These particles are so small they can be detected only with an electron microscope. Major sources of fine particles include motor vehicles, power plants, residential wood burning, forest fires, agricultural burning, some industrial processes, and other combustion processes.

 

so, it gets in your bloodstream and f you up. It is not just coughing up your lungs and spitting as some cultures do for sport.

Be afraid- Be very afraid.

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10 hours ago, Trujillo said:

Now or last April, when the air had a lot more body, I never felt any different physically. No different from any other time, anywhere else. It's really just a visual thing. If you didn't see well, you'd never notice. 

 

Could this be Darwinism at work here in CM? If you have a weak constitution, perhaps you will be driven out, leaving the splendors of the city and environs to the strong, like me. 

 

>..<

Are you a smoker?   I'm not.

Once the PM2.5 levels rise above 180 I do start to feel heaviness in my chest, rawness in throat, breathing goes shallow.No need to 'see' the air since I can 'taste' it. Most of all I notice how air-quality effects my well-being.

 

I spend 5 months a year in Canada filling my lungs with 'green' air ,so I take notice when that death cloud rolls into CM (hopefully not until Feb.) I just revert to indoor-living,almost like winter-months....going out you wear the proper gear,stay inside and your home best be outfitted to battle the elements....or you die,sooner rather than later.

 

Your sentiment of not noticing the pollution reflects what the majority of local Thais would likely conclude. Because in part, they are just simply used to it. In the same way the guy who may smoke a pack or two of cigarettes a day. For those who don't smoke, one butt may turn them a wrong shade of green.

 

 

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Last year was absolutely our worst year since we moved here in 2004, it was beyond dire. I'm not too fussy for me personally about some dirt in the air but it concerns me for others, especially children. I remember last year driving from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai for a couple of days break and the air quality during the drive plumed a depth I could never have imagined, we had to stop at a 7/11 to buy masks and we rarely took them off all weekend, even in the hotel! I remember as a 10 year old kid in Yorkshire Uk driving with my family through some of the worst smog the country had ever seen and visibility was less than twenty feet. Last year was shades of that at times, quite frightening really.

 

We've lived in a high rise condo. building in CM which seems to make things even worse, every time we looked out the window we were reminded how bad things were. Now we're in a house outside CM and have a large garden with lots of trees, the visual reminder is no longer there and whilst the numbers may be the same, the air quality seems much more agreeable.

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San Khampaeng is 240 again this morning. For some reason it has been the worst district for the last few days...

 

Thais are oblivious to the dangers to their health. This morning I saw people jogging and cycling on my Moo Ban at 7am....

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As many said here before, you can open 5 topics in Chiang Mai forum and discuss that all day. You are living in a bubble. The people outside have a different view on that. They could not be less interested.

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I find it surprising that the press has not done any articles about the cost of pollution on Thailand's economy, specifically the tourism industry. I am reminded of a friend who bought facebook at its IPO, but then sold it a few weeks later when the price dropped, only to kick himself when it began it's continued upward trajectory. If he had not sold, he would have been $500,000USD richer. People told him, do not think about this as $500,000 you lost, as you never had this money.  Maybe that is how Thailand's leaders think. But the truth is, you are losing money. I know many foreigners who would love to extend their stay here, but the worsening air quality makes it unreasonable to do so.

If a foreigner spends 60,000 TB per month, and cuts their stay here by 2 months, that is 120,000 TB. Let us add to that the number of people who would be visiting Thailand during those months, outside of the ones prolonging their stay. What number could that be? Unfortunately, it is difficult to impossible to get accurate statistics, as the bodies publishing those numbers have their own agenda to make the tourism industry appear to continue to e strong. But until that is possible, I will rely on common sense, and post the number as a loss of 10,000 tourists per month. So for a 2 month period that would entail a loss of 600 million TB. Today, December 27, the AQI in Chiang Mai is already 172, unhealthy. I have decided because of worsening climate changes, I will not invest in buying a condo in Chiang Mai, as my stays here will probably get shorter and shorter. Why doesn't any reporter show the courage to pose these questions to those in charge who do not appear to have the political will to tackle this problem.

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23 hours ago, Capacitor said:

3rd straight winter in Chiang Mai and this December has been ridiculously bad. I don't recall a single day in February last year when the mountain vanished behind an impenetrable veil of smoke like today.

 

Obviously it can't be vehicle emissions; is there a fire map or other means to see where the smoke is coming from? Not that it will change anything, but at least to have an idea of what's happening and why.

Somehow, a lot of people seems to have forgotten that normal weather plays a big role in atmospheric visibility. What we had for the last few days is just fog (and a minor component of air pollution).

 

The humidity level between 4 and 7am these days is basically 100%. Since it doesn't really rain, that humidity remains in the atmosphere and create a fog (not a haze).

 

Humidity concentration can considerably limit how far you can see.

 

Based on this diagram, with an AQI of 200 (which is bad in itself), the visibility can be around 20 km (what it would be in March-April) or around 5 km like it is right now.

 

AQI_Vis.jpg

https://www.chiangmaidoctor.com/burning-season

Edited by XLance
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22 hours ago, canopy said:

Another thing. It may not be intuitive, but unfortunately closing the windows and doors is not effective against the dangerous PM2.5 particles.

 

While I don't have an air purifier a hacky workaround is to pickup a roll of particulate filter material at the 3M shop in Chiang Mai and stick that in the apartment AC unit.

 

Certainly helps but would be nice to have a complete setup like many CM year rounders have in their homes.

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In short,current PM2.5 meters are ineffective in measuring pollution as they don't count the very smallest particles-nanoparticles,which recent research suggests are a much larger cause of illness & death

Not sure exactly what was said but the definition for PM2.5 measurement is all particles between 2500nm and 30nm. Of course, there are particles below that size, but I would find surprising that PM2.5 and PM0.1 would not be mildly proportional to <10-8m particles, not correlated though, depending on sources. If it's polluted for PM2.5, it's likely to be polluted for PM0.1 and vice-versa.

 

As for Chiang Mai, if we stick only to the particles produced by burning, it's around 150nm with a 2sigma between 60nm and 250nm. The amount of particles below 30nm is around 1% so the PM2.5 in Chiang Mai seems to me to be perfectly appropriate to monitor the pollution during the burning season.

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14 minutes ago, XLance said:

I would find surprising that PM2.5 and PM0.1 would not be mildly proportional to <10-8m particles, not correlated though, depending on sources. If it's polluted for PM2.5, it's likely to be polluted for PM0.1 and vice-versa.

ah well, it is surprising: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160412019311110

 

But my remarks about Chiang Mai burning season pollution remain valid though, the particulate size distribution of smoke from grass/shrub burning is relatively well defined and relatively properly monitored by PM2.5

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35 minutes ago, Capacitor said:

 

Interesting interpretation, do you work for the government by chance?

 

It's unlikely that AQI readings consistently above 150 for the last 24 hours are related to fog, which has not once in my lifetime given me a headache, scratchy throat, and itchy eyes.

No wonder there is so much misinformation and scare around if people cannot understand a simple message on a forum.

 

I replied to your comment about the visibility of Doi Suthep, not about the current AQI level. With an AQI of 150 or 200 (the reason why I used that value in my previous post), you will see Doi Suthep without any issues, even from Hand Dong in a low humidity atmosphere. Since the humidity lately is between 50 and 100%, this reduces visibility by 200 to 300%. If you don't see Doi Suthep right now, it's ~10% because of the haze due to pollution, ~90% because of the fog due to humidity

Edited by XLance
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20 hours ago, donnacha said:

Other recent research on the impacts of air pollution - including cardiac, neuropathic (stroke), pulmonary, diabetes, arthritis, even depression - have led me to believe that many people living in Chiang Mai because it is supposedly cheaper are storing up incredibly expensive medical problems for the future. This is an unprecedented experiment on human beings.

Agree 100% with this. The long term effects from all of this as it’s getting worse is going to be staggering.

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9 hours ago, Forza2002 said:

San Khampaeng is 240 again this morning. For some reason it has been the worst district for the last few days...

 

Thais are oblivious to the dangers to their health. This morning I saw people jogging and cycling on my Moo Ban at 7am....

It should be no surprise that northern Thailand has the highest rates of lung cancer in the country. Mai pen rai.

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8 hours ago, Capacitor said:

 

Interesting interpretation, do you work for the government by chance?

 

It's unlikely that AQI readings consistently above 150 for the last 24 hours are related to fog, which has not once in my lifetime given me a headache, scratchy throat, and itchy eyes.

 

More likely, it's that somewhere (nearby?) the forests are a raging inferno and we're reaping the "benefits".

I agree!!  But probably a multitude of factors, Air inversion, burning, vehicle emissions.

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On 12/28/2019 at 6:02 PM, Bassosa said:

Most of the cities in that top 10 support tens of millions people each and have huge industrial complexes that form the backbone of their respective economies.

 

What's Chiang Mai's excuse for being in that list?

 

 

Lack of political will, lack of accounibility, lack of looking into the future, seeing how their turism-dependent economy can't survive while it is killing people.

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On 11/12/2019 at 4:13 AM, Puchaiyank said:

I wear a facemask daily now when I go outside...something I swore to myself I would never do...helps some but some polluted air still gets through...clean something like micro particles of sand out of the corners of each every morning...

 

Nothing to see here folks...just some old expats whining about our wonderful Thailand...🤔

 "Our" wonderful thailand?you.'re just a guest in the los,hope you don,t have to find out the hard way.

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Hard to believe rain in late December but folks here, near Kad Suan Kaew, certainly got wet and the road ways cleaned of dust.

The air around us has been purified with ozone and is now safe for all.  Take a long walk and breath deeply. 

Maybe climate change will do northern Thailand some real good if rains now occur every month and depress the forest and field burn-offs.

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You are  lucky to have an AQI of 85, here in Sanpiisua it is 111 after at least 2 hours of good rains. There is a lovely fresh smell to the air but that is obviously deceptive. In Rimping on Sunday I bought 7 face masks which should see me through a couple of weeks.

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