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Thailand's Most Polluted Air Is In The North


sriracha john

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No one has said that there is NO pollution in Chiang Mai, but the title of this thread is

"Thailand's Most Polluted Air Is In The North", which Priceless has pointed out many times is just not true.

Get it now? :o

Even you UG can see that the case for/against healthier/healthiest air in CM is far far from proven, in fact it remains more seriously in doubt now than ever before.

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We're living in a basin. In this basin there are lots of cars/bikes/trucks/buses, fires (garbage, forests), dust, factories (around Lamphum), etc. How can the air be clean?

So many residents have allergies and respiratory diseases.

Downtown everything you touch is covered with dust. If you leave your car outside for 2 days, you can write your name (or DIRTY, FOR SALE, ...) on it. Plates and glasses, if not in a kitchen dressing, are soon dirty too. Everything. Floors, furniture, stereo, CDs,... Unless one lives in an air-conditioned house or condo.

How could the air be clean?

Is all the crap, that sometimes I can see/smell/touch somehow recycled before it reaches my lungs? If yes, How?

Edited by adjan jb
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No one has said that there is NO pollution in Chiang Mai, but the title of this thread is

"Thailand's Most Polluted Air Is In The North", which Priceless has pointed out many times is just not true.

Get it now? :o

Even you UG can see that the case for/against healthier/healthiest air in CM is far far from proven, in fact it remains more seriously in doubt now than ever before.

One of the (many) things that gall me about this debate is the continuously "sliding" definition of what we are discussing. Sometimes it's Particulate Matter air pollution (which has been my area of interest) sometimes it is visibility (which is not directly linked to pollution) and sometimes it is the health effects of air pollution. What I have been regularly pointing out, and what UG is referring to, is the fact that (as far as is being measured) Chiang Mai has among the lowest yearly average levels of Particulate Matter (PM<10) air pollution in Thailand. Since the seasonal variations in CM are stronger than in some other parts of the country, the PM<10 levels can at their peak (usually in March) be considerably higher than in some other places. It is however, even in March, almost without exception lower than in the worst polluted places.

The example that is incessantly being brought up is the extreme peak in March 2007, when the monthly CM average reached 161.7 µg/m3. Quite horrendous! A few things are however worth pointing out:

1/ This was the single worst monthly result recorded in Chiang Mai this decade.

2/ In March of 2006 and 2008 the values were 88.8 and 83.8 respectively (each year's highest level), i.e. roughly half the 2007 value.

3/ The levels in Samut Prakarn for the six months of October 2006 - March 2007 were 131.7, 170.4, 173.7, 192.7, 142.4 and 121.8 respectively.

4/ The levels in Sara Buri for the same six months were 158.9, 192.1, 141.7, 154.9, 146.1, 90.9 respectively.

5/ The pollution levels in Chiang Mai are obviously not the highest in Thailand, and have never been, at least this decade.

The original Nation article was published 29 January and the headline, which is also the title of this thread, was "Thailand's Most Polluted Air Is In The North". This is obvious nonsense and any serious newspaper should of course apologize for writing something like that. It is rather ironical that the Pollution Control Department's website for the last five days, i.e. since the day before the article, have had the following "Top Three" least polluted measuring locations in their table "Regional Air Quality Data" (PM<10 level in paranthesis):

28 Jan: Chiang Rai (34.0), Chiang Mai (34.9) and Pathum Thani (34.9)

29 Jan: Chiang Rai (27.4), Chiang Mai (30.0) and Pathum Thani (33.9)

30 Jan: Mae Hong Son (27.0), Chiang Mai (35.2) and Pathum Thani (41.0)

31 Jan: Mae Hong Son (29.9), Samut Sakorn (38.5) and Chiang Mai (41.3)

1 Feb: Samut Sakorn (21.5), Chiang Mai (34.1) and Mae Hong Son (34.8)

I.e. Chiang Mai has been the second or (31 Jan) third least polluted location in the table for the last five days straight. It is also worth noting that one of the other locations has every day been either Chiang Rai or Mae Hong Son. "Thailand's Most Polluted Air Is In The North" indeed!!!!!

It is quite typical that the member "chiang mai" has now shifted from "polluted" to "healthy" air. Whether this is true or not is way beyond my (very limited) competence in medicine to judge. It does however seem counter-intuitive that lower pollution levels would be "less healthy" than higher levels. When it comes to health effects I have to rely on seemingly credible information that I can find on the internet. Let me quote a paragraph from an article "Air pollution, fine particulate matter and lung cancer (July 2005)", published by Cancer Care Ontario ( http://www.cancercare.on.ca/english/home/o.../air-pollution/ ):

"[...] Two large studies in the U.S. have found a small increase in the risk of dying from lung cancer with exposure to greater levels of fine particulate matter. The larger of these two studies reported results separately for both men and women and found that the relationship between exposure and lung cancer risk was limited to men. Other studies have looked at exposure to air pollution, although not specifically fine particulate matter, and some, but not all, found that lung cancer risk increased with increasing exposure. The research thus provides some evidence that greater exposure to polluted air increases the risk of lung cancer, although results remain inconclusive. [...]"

Why "chiang mai" finds that the case for considering the Chiang Mai air quality probably being less unhealthy than that in some (many) other parts of Thailand "in fact [...] remains more seriously in doubt now than ever before" is quite beyond me.

Since I have become interested in the subject, I will continue to follow the development of Particulate Matter pollution in different parts of Thailand. I will probably also continue to post some of these results here on ThaiVisa. I may even quote some interesting articles or reports on the health effects of air pollution, but I will avoid to take a personal stand on those matters since A/ I am not qualified to do so and B/ It seems that the medical science hasn't come to any firm conclusions, either.

/ Priceless

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No one has said that there is NO pollution in Chiang Mai, but the title of this thread is

"Thailand's Most Polluted Air Is In The North", which Priceless has pointed out many times is just not true.

Get it now? :o

Whooa, UG!

I don't think you quite get the point about the fragility of the scientific studies or statistics provided and how they are presented. Priceless' graphs are vulnerable to the GIGO ("garbage in:garbage out") principle, but can still tell you something. So can peoples' noses, eyes, and lungs.

Regardless of sometimes absurd hyperbolic exasperation of some with the pollution here, it is a reality, seasonal or not. And, it isn't really of more than passing interest to note if it happens to be better or worse than in Bangkok or Bujumbura. (I happen to be much more interested than most in the type of effort Priceless is making, but I keep it in perspective.)

I think the topic header on this thread is a misleading quick reference to the problem. "Yes! It's Raining" is another distressingly misleading inadequate header for a thread that ended up loaded with lots of useful information. I'd much rather see some more helpful topic headers. I wish all of Priceless' efforts and that of others wasn't splashed so sloppily across TV.

Otherwise, UG --- as you have said countless times --- the pollution doesn't bother you and some others. But I think you should gracefully accept that it bothers one hellova lot of people in varying degree. And that does show up in public health research findings.

There is a problem, UG! Right here in River City, and it's spelled with a P,O, double-LL,U,T,I,O,N. And it isn't healthy.

Smoking didn't apparently bother the Marlboro man until he died of lung cancer. Do you think he was genetically disposed to the disease? Or whatever? Well, of course, he could have lit up again and have stuck around to find out. Hmmmm! I guess he did!

Edited by Mapguy
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We're living in a basin. In this basin there are lots of cars/bikes/trucks/buses, fires (garbage, forests), dust, factories (around Lamphum), etc. How can the air be clean?

So many residents have allergies and respiratory diseases.

Downtown everything you touch is covered with dust. If you leave your car outside for 2 days, you can write your name (or DIRTY, FOR SALE, ...) on it. Plates and glasses, if not in a kitchen dressing, are soon dirty too. Everything. Floors, furniture, stereo, CDs,... Unless one lives in an air-conditioned house or condo.

How could the air be clean?

Is all the crap, that sometimes I can see/smell/touch somehow recycled before it reaches my lungs? If yes, How?

If it in any way soothes your (French :o ) nerves, most of the cr*p that you find on your car, glasses, plates and so on can probably not penetrate (deep) into your breathing apparatus. It seems that "coarse" particles, with a diameter >10 micrometers, are comparatively "harmless" from a health point-of-view (but they sure make cars look sh*tty). Apparently the particles become nastier the smaller they are, with those <2.5 micrometres being the worst. (I DO wish the Pollution Control Department would measure those, as well as the somewhat "coarser" PM<10 ones.)

We can also take solace in the fact that we have less of this cr*p in Chiang Mai than in many other parts of Thailand and the world. On the other hand, it seems that there is no really "safe" level of air pollution, even though the World Health Organisation ( http://www.euro.who.int/Document/E90038.pdf ) consider a level of 20 µg/m3 to be the best we (the world, that is) can strive for. Below that the "cost" per unit of further decrease would probably be better spent elsewhere.

/ Priceless

Edited by Priceless
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We're living in a basin. In this basin there are lots of cars/bikes/trucks/buses, fires (garbage, forests), dust, factories (around Lamphum), etc. How can the air be clean?

So many residents have allergies and respiratory diseases.

Downtown everything you touch is covered with dust. If you leave your car outside for 2 days, you can write your name (or DIRTY, FOR SALE, ...) on it. Plates and glasses, if not in a kitchen dressing, are soon dirty too. Everything. Floors, furniture, stereo, CDs,... Unless one lives in an air-conditioned house or condo.

How could the air be clean?

Is all the crap, that sometimes I can see/smell/touch somehow recycled before it reaches my lungs? If yes, How?

If it in any way soothes your (French :o ) nerves, most of the cr*p that you find on your car, glasses, plates and so on can probably not penetrate (deep) into your breathing apparatus. It seems that "coarse" particles, with a diameter >10 micrometers, are comparatively "harmless" from a health point-of-view (but they sure make cars look sh*tty). Apparently the particles become nastier the smaller they are, with those <2.5 micrometres being the worst. (I DO wish the Pollution Control Department would measure those, as well as the somewhat "coarser" PM<10 ones.)

We can also take solace in the fact that we have less of this cr*p in Chiang Mai than in many other parts of Thailand and the world. On the other hand, it seems that there is no really "safe" level of air pollution, even though the World Health Organisation ( http://www.euro.who.int/Document/E90038.pdf ) consider a level of 20 µg/m3 to be the best we (the world, that is) can strive for. Below that the "cost" per unit of further decrease would probably be better spent elsewhere.

/ Priceless

I find it flippant to discount concern with larger particulate matter although the PM<2.5 are apparently indeed more insidious. I agree with Priceless that it would be very useful to get better measurements. I don't know what the cost-benefit ratio of that would be. And, after all, we're looking at very, very few monitoring stations in Thailand to start off with. Hence, the data we have are arguably enormously insufficient.

I don't take any solace at all in that pollution is worse in some places than in Chiang Mai. It is better in many as well. And there is no reason why some policy changes can't be made in education, economic assistance and enforcement here to make the situation here a lot better than it is.

The 1985 WHO Report referred to above is definitely worth a read, but be careful about what kind of conclusions to make that are relevant to improving the situation considerably in Chiang Mai.

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No one has said that there is NO pollution in Chiang Mai, but the title of this thread is

"Thailand's Most Polluted Air Is In The North", which Priceless has pointed out many times is just not true.

Get it now? :o

Even you UG can see that the case for/against healthier/healthiest air in CM is far far from proven, in fact it remains more seriously in doubt now than ever before.

One of the (many) things that gall me about this debate is the continuously "sliding" definition of what we are discussing. Sometimes it's Particulate Matter air pollution (which has been my area of interest) sometimes it is visibility (which is not directly linked to pollution) and sometimes it is the health effects of air pollution. What I have been regularly pointing out, and what UG is referring to, is the fact that (as far as is being measured) Chiang Mai has among the lowest yearly average levels of Particulate Matter (PM<10) air pollution in Thailand. Since the seasonal variations in CM are stronger than in some other parts of the country, the PM<10 levels can at their peak (usually in March) be considerably higher than in some other places. It is however, even in March, almost without exception lower than in the worst polluted places.

The example that is incessantly being brought up is the extreme peak in March 2007, when the monthly CM average reached 161.7 µg/m3. Quite horrendous! A few things are however worth pointing out:

1/ This was the single worst monthly result recorded in Chiang Mai this decade.

2/ In March of 2006 and 2008 the values were 88.8 and 83.8 respectively (each year's highest level), i.e. roughly half the 2007 value.

3/ The levels in Samut Prakarn for the six months of October 2006 - March 2007 were 131.7, 170.4, 173.7, 192.7, 142.4 and 121.8 respectively.

4/ The levels in Sara Buri for the same six months were 158.9, 192.1, 141.7, 154.9, 146.1, 90.9 respectively.

5/ The pollution levels in Chiang Mai are obviously not the highest in Thailand, and have never been, at least this decade.

The original Nation article was published 29 January and the headline, which is also the title of this thread, was "Thailand's Most Polluted Air Is In The North". This is obvious nonsense and any serious newspaper should of course apologize for writing something like that. It is rather ironical that the Pollution Control Department's website for the last five days, i.e. since the day before the article, have had the following "Top Three" least polluted measuring locations in their table "Regional Air Quality Data" (PM<10 level in paranthesis):

28 Jan: Chiang Rai (34.0), Chiang Mai (34.9) and Pathum Thani (34.9)

29 Jan: Chiang Rai (27.4), Chiang Mai (30.0) and Pathum Thani (33.9)

30 Jan: Mae Hong Son (27.0), Chiang Mai (35.2) and Pathum Thani (41.0)

31 Jan: Mae Hong Son (29.9), Samut Sakorn (38.5) and Chiang Mai (41.3)

1 Feb: Samut Sakorn (21.5), Chiang Mai (34.1) and Mae Hong Son (34.8)

I.e. Chiang Mai has been the second or (31 Jan) third least polluted location in the table for the last five days straight. It is also worth noting that one of the other locations has every day been either Chiang Rai or Mae Hong Son. "Thailand's Most Polluted Air Is In The North" indeed!!!!!

It is quite typical that the member "chiang mai" has now shifted from "polluted" to "healthy" air. Whether this is true or not is way beyond my (very limited) competence in medicine to judge. It does however seem counter-intuitive that lower pollution levels would be "less healthy" than higher levels. When it comes to health effects I have to rely on seemingly credible information that I can find on the internet. Let me quote a paragraph from an article "Air pollution, fine particulate matter and lung cancer (July 2005)", published by Cancer Care Ontario ( http://www.cancercare.on.ca/english/home/o.../air-pollution/ ):

"[...] Two large studies in the U.S. have found a small increase in the risk of dying from lung cancer with exposure to greater levels of fine particulate matter. The larger of these two studies reported results separately for both men and women and found that the relationship between exposure and lung cancer risk was limited to men. Other studies have looked at exposure to air pollution, although not specifically fine particulate matter, and some, but not all, found that lung cancer risk increased with increasing exposure. The research thus provides some evidence that greater exposure to polluted air increases the risk of lung cancer, although results remain inconclusive. [...]"

Why "chiang mai" finds that the case for considering the Chiang Mai air quality probably being less unhealthy than that in some (many) other parts of Thailand "in fact [...] remains more seriously in doubt now than ever before" is quite beyond me.

Since I have become interested in the subject, I will continue to follow the development of Particulate Matter pollution in different parts of Thailand. I will probably also continue to post some of these results here on ThaiVisa. I may even quote some interesting articles or reports on the health effects of air pollution, but I will avoid to take a personal stand on those matters since A/ I am not qualified to do so and B/ It seems that the medical science hasn't come to any firm conclusions, either.

/ Priceless

You feel galled, how do you think we feel!

So let's be clear about what we are discussing because I don't think the scale is sliding at all. We're focusing on the degree to which CM air is polluted, regardless of whether said pollution can be seen or not and regardless of the size of the polluted particles. If the air is proven to be more polluted it may be reasonable to refer to the air as unhealthier air - in the event that the air is proven to less polluted we may also refer to it as being healthier air. I think that's pretty clear, unlike the CM air!

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No one has said that there is NO pollution in Chiang Mai, but the title of this thread is

"Thailand's Most Polluted Air Is In The North", which Priceless has pointed out many times is just not true.

Get it now? :o

Even you UG can see that the case for/against healthier/healthiest air in CM is far far from proven, in fact it remains more seriously in doubt now than ever before.

And even if it is for some reason it is eventually proven not to be pollution, something is causing a four-fold increase in the lung cancer rates in Chiang Mai.

Edited by sriracha john
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&lt;deleted&gt; Priceless, TV readers post their individual experiences of pollution by the score, doctors at CM Ram and other hospitals report, in one to one discussions, massive seasonal increases of patients suffering respiratory distress, a professor from a CM teaching hospital reports an increase in lung cancer patients in the North and you want to debate Wikipedia's definition of words and defend your statistics with your dying breath - do you not feel that you're missing the point just a little bit.

I have not argued that the incidence of respiratory diseases (including lung cancer) in Chiang Mai may be higher than elsewhere in Thailand. In fact I have posted links to, and excerpts from, research reports that indicate that this is the case. Furthermore I have no qualifications whatsoever to make such a claim.

What I have claimed is however that there is nothing in available data to support the hypothesis that this high incidence is related to (or caused by) air pollution. If there were such a relation, one would expect a much higher incidence to occur in highly polluted areas (Samut Prakarn, Sara Buri, Din Daeng etc), rather than in low-pollution Chiang Mai. This does not seem to be the case, though.

The reason I posted a few quotes from Wikipedia was to try to explain that people's (including my own) subjective experiences, e.g. of low visibility, are in fact "filtered" by their previous experiences, preconceptions etc, possibly leading to incorrect conclusions.

I have in no way intended to belittle other people's experience of respiratory or other medical problems, and I would have had no grounds for doing so. However, I will continue to question the frequent arguing that these experiences are caused by air pollution, until such time as I'm proven wrong.

/ Priceless

Facts are priceless but common sense is also important. Chiangmai has a pollution problem for all to see. No amount of wiki reading will change how the fact that there is pollution here, whatever the cause

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Thanks 'Priceless'.

I admire your tenacity in trying to convert the pollution complaining mob with the facts. I'm afraid that you have an impossible task trying to educate people who don't want to learn.

So I guess you're also against the cigarette complaining mob who also have this wild idea cigarette smoking is harmful.

There are inane posts and then there are real inane posts. Anyone believing the air pollution in Chiang Mai is not a problem and comes out and states it falls in the latter category.

Then again it is probably the pollution affecting their brains that makes them make stupid comments like this.

I am not going to fall into the name-calling trap, I'll just try to explain this thing in very easy-to-understand terms.

Chiang Mai has among the lowest levels of air pollution (PM<10) of all the locations measured by the Pollution Control Department.

If the incidence of respiratory disease is indeed (much?) higher in Chiang Mai, then this cannot logically be caused by the air pollution. If air pollution were the (or a major) cause of respiratory disease, then higher pollution levels would cause higher incidences of these diseases.

This is not a matter of opinion but rather a case of logical reasoning. In statistics this relationship is called "correlation". If there is no correlation, then one can safely assume that there is no (or an extremely weak) causal relationship.

/ Priceless

I think that your make things way way to technical. The fact remains, that I can tell by looking at Doi Sutep how much pollution is in the air, by using my memory of what clear days look like. If you want to go ahead and believe the numbers and all the data thats fine, but my logic tells me when its best not to be outdoors too much, and when its ok. I also relay on a highly technical device called MY NOSE, and first thing in the morning step out onto my terrace and take a rather large sample reading, and within nano seconds I am givin a recommendation with regards to the level of air pollution.

About there being mist/fog, well, thats a load of drizzel, as there is NO FOG at noon in the blazing sun. This is CM, not Doi Internon.

To not be able to see the connection between many months of air pollution and long term lung cancer, is akin to not being able to see the forrest through the trees.

What you are saying is that your nose and eyes are better measuring apparatuses than the equipment that the Pollution Control Department is using. Congratulations, you have a career as pollution measurer in front of you. I'm sure that the PCD will be willing to pay really well, since the "old-fashioned" equipment is quite expensive to acquire and operate :o

More seriously, I believe that one of the problems with this discussion is that many people confuse visibility (or rather opacity) with air pollution. At least they believe that the degree of opacity is directly proportional to the level of pollution. I am however convinced (I am not an expert in optics) that the opacity is a function of not only the level of pollution but also of the composition of the polluting matter. Maybe someone with more insight into physics and optics could explain what different sizes of particulate matter, different optical properties of the individual particles etc would have on the perceived opacity.

Anyways, it is clear that a number of posters here subscribe to the conspiracy theory that the PCD is systematically falsifying the data published on their website. I don't, if for no other reason than that I don't believe they have the sophistication to falsify long series of daily data.

There is frequent talk of the Chinese authorities falsifying pollution data, in particular in connection with last year's Olympic Games. As far as I've been able to determine, the Chinese never published any daily data though, only computed averages over longer periods such as months. These kind of data are much easier to "edit".

/ Priceless

Not necessarily falsifying data, just, well, this is Thailand yeah, and I have seen quality control here, so....

And yes, either right or wrong, I judge the level of pollution by the visibility. Cause if the visibility is reduced, it IS related to the amount of matter that is in the air. Same goes with a glass of murky water. I do not think one needs to be schooled in physics or optics to understand this relationship. Once again, I feel that you complicate matters to a high degree.

If I can see that the air is smoky from my terrace to the mountain, than that is all the data I need to come to a conclusion. So yes, MY eyes and nose are better measuring apparatuses as I and only I will determine what is an acceptable level of pollution for ME, be it noise, sound, air or what ever. No one is going to convince me that there air is fresh and ok, when I know it is not, does not matter what data they have or what equipment they used to get it.

Exactly but some posters will always believe what they read. Thai officials invented the line - lies, damned lies and statistics. TIT believe everything they say ??? really

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Four well-dressed men sitting together at a vacation resort.



Michael Palin: Ahh.. Very passable, this, very passable.

Graham Chapman: Nothing like a good glass of Chateau de Chassilier wine, ay Gessiah?

Terry Gilliam: You're right there Obediah.

Eric Idle: Who'd a thought thirty years ago we'd all be sittin' here drinking Chateau de Chassilier wine?

MP: Aye. In them days, we'd a' been glad to have the price of a cup o' tea.

GC: A cup ' COLD tea.

EI: Without milk or sugar.

TG: OR tea!

MP: In a filthy, cracked cup.

EI: We never used to have a cup. We used to have to drink out of a rolled up newspaper.

GC: The best WE could manage was to suck on a piece of damp cloth.

TG: But you know, we were happy in those days, though we were poor.

MP: Aye. BECAUSE we were poor. My old Dad used to say to me, "Money doesn't buy you happiness."

EI: 'E was right. I was happier then and I had NOTHIN'. We used to live in this tiiiny old house, with greaaaaat big holes in the roof.

GC: House? You were lucky to have a HOUSE! We used to live in one room, all hundred and twenty-six of us, no furniture. Half the floor was missing; we were all huddled together in one corner for fear of FALLING!

TG: You were lucky to have a ROOM! *We* used to have to live in a corridor!

MP: Ohhhh we used to DREAM of livin' in a corridor! Woulda' been a palace to us. We used to live in an old water tank on a rubbish tip. We got woken up every morning by having a load of rotting fish dumped all over us! House!? Hmph.

EI: Well when I say "house" it was only a hole in the ground covered by a piece of tarpolin, but it was a house to US.

GC: We were evicted from *our* hole in the ground; we had to go and live in a lake!

TG: You were lucky to have a LAKE! There were a hundred and sixty of us living in a small shoebox in the middle of the road.

MP: Cardboard box?

TG: Aye.

MP: You were lucky. We lived for three months in a brown paper bag in a septic tank. We used to have to get up at six o'clock in the morning, clean the bag, eat a crust of stale bread, go to work down mill for fourteen hours a day week in-week out. When we got home, out Dad would thrash us to sleep with his belt!

GC: Luxury. We used to have to get out of the lake at three o'clock in the morning, clean the lake, eat a handful of hot gravel, go to work at the mill every day for tuppence a month, come home, and Dad would beat us around the head and neck with a broken bottle, if we were LUCKY!

TG: Well we had it tough. We used to have to get up out of the shoebox at twelve o'clock at night, and LICK the road clean with our tongues. We had half a handful of freezing cold gravel, worked twenty-four hours a day at the mill for fourpence every six years, and when we got home, our Dad would slice us in two with a bread knife.

EI: Right. I had to get up in the morning at ten o'clock at night, half an hour before I went to bed, (pause for laughter), eat a lump of cold poison, work twenty-nine hours a day down mill, and pay mill owner for permission to come to work, and when we got home, our Dad would kill us, and dance about on our graves singing "Hallelujah."

MP: But you try and tell the young people today that... and they won't believe ya'.

ALL: Nope, nope



Remind you of anybody? :o

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Four well-dressed men sitting together at a vacation resort.



Michael Palin: Ahh.. Very passable, this, very passable.

Graham Chapman: Nothing like a good glass of Chateau de Chassilier wine, ay Gessiah?

Terry Gilliam: You're right there Obediah.

Eric Idle: Who'd a thought thirty years ago we'd all be sittin' here drinking Chateau de Chassilier wine?

MP: Aye. In them days, we'd a' been glad to have the price of a cup o' tea.

GC: A cup ' COLD tea.

EI: Without milk or sugar.

TG: OR tea!

MP: In a filthy, cracked cup.

EI: We never used to have a cup. We used to have to drink out of a rolled up newspaper.

GC: The best WE could manage was to suck on a piece of damp cloth.

TG: But you know, we were happy in those days, though we were poor.

MP: Aye. BECAUSE we were poor. My old Dad used to say to me, "Money doesn't buy you happiness."

EI: 'E was right. I was happier then and I had NOTHIN'. We used to live in this tiiiny old house, with greaaaaat big holes in the roof.

GC: House? You were lucky to have a HOUSE! We used to live in one room, all hundred and twenty-six of us, no furniture. Half the floor was missing; we were all huddled together in one corner for fear of FALLING!

TG: You were lucky to have a ROOM! *We* used to have to live in a corridor!

MP: Ohhhh we used to DREAM of livin' in a corridor! Woulda' been a palace to us. We used to live in an old water tank on a rubbish tip. We got woken up every morning by having a load of rotting fish dumped all over us! House!? Hmph.

EI: Well when I say "house" it was only a hole in the ground covered by a piece of tarpolin, but it was a house to US.

GC: We were evicted from *our* hole in the ground; we had to go and live in a lake!

TG: You were lucky to have a LAKE! There were a hundred and sixty of us living in a small shoebox in the middle of the road.

MP: Cardboard box?

TG: Aye.

MP: You were lucky. We lived for three months in a brown paper bag in a septic tank. We used to have to get up at six o'clock in the morning, clean the bag, eat a crust of stale bread, go to work down mill for fourteen hours a day week in-week out. When we got home, out Dad would thrash us to sleep with his belt!

GC: Luxury. We used to have to get out of the lake at three o'clock in the morning, clean the lake, eat a handful of hot gravel, go to work at the mill every day for tuppence a month, come home, and Dad would beat us around the head and neck with a broken bottle, if we were LUCKY!

TG: Well we had it tough. We used to have to get up out of the shoebox at twelve o'clock at night, and LICK the road clean with our tongues. We had half a handful of freezing cold gravel, worked twenty-four hours a day at the mill for fourpence every six years, and when we got home, our Dad would slice us in two with a bread knife.

EI: Right. I had to get up in the morning at ten o'clock at night, half an hour before I went to bed, (pause for laughter), eat a lump of cold poison, work twenty-nine hours a day down mill, and pay mill owner for permission to come to work, and when we got home, our Dad would kill us, and dance about on our graves singing "Hallelujah."

MP: But you try and tell the young people today that... and they won't believe ya'.

ALL: Nope, nope

An MP classic for sure: :D

Thanks for that UG......you have got my day off to a great start after spending half an hour reading about Doom & "GLOOM" :o

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Just to bring this thread back on topic:

The title of the thread, and the headline of the Nation article it refers to, is:

"Thailand's Most Polluted Air Is In The North"

There are two possibilities:

1/ The statement is false, either a blatant lie or just extremely bad journalism.

2/ The statement is correct, in which case The Nation has just missed a major journalistic scoop:

"The Pollution Control Department Has Been Falsifying Its Air Pollution Data For A Decade"

I happen to believe in alternative 1, and in the intuitively appealing theory that Thailand's most polluted air is in the heavily industrialized region around Bangkok. Some others obviously believe in alternative 2.

/ Priceless

Edited by Priceless
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Thanks for the slice of sanity UG. As much as that one applies to Farang talking to Farang here on the boards, I find Who's On First by Abbot n Costello best applies to Farang inquiring direct answers from Thais. It's another classic that cracks me up. A little off topic, but let's have some laughter among all this fretting...... http://www.baseball-almanac.com/humor4.shtml

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Just to bring this thread back on topic:

The title of the thread, and the headline of the Nation article it refers to, is:

"Thailand's Most Polluted Air Is In The North"

There are two possibilities:

1/ The statement is false, either a blatant lie or just extremely bad journalism.

2/ The statement is correct, in which case The Nation has just missed a major journalistic scoop:

"The Pollution Control Department Has Been Falsifying Its Air Pollution Data For A Decade"

I happen to believe in alternative 1, and in the intuitively appealing theory that Thailand's most polluted air is in the heavily industrialized region around Bangkok. Some others obviously believe in alternative 2.

Would you care to take a stab then at the sub-title of the thread topic now:

A four-fold increased risk of lung cancer compared to other areas

for an explanation?

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As far as I can see, a four-fold 'increase' is incorrect terminology John, 'increase' implies a change of the same variable, from one state to another over time. This is not the situation the article seems to describe.

The article claims the yearly number of patients presenting with lung cancer is around four times higher in Chiang Mai than elsewhere in Thailand.

As for an explanation, Priceless already said he is not qualified to make any statements about that. Neither am I.

Guesses at explanations mentioned in scientific studies I have seen are:

- Microspores from fungi (applying to CM in general)

- Indoor radon in combination with smoke from burning (applying specifically to Saraphi)

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As you have no doubt noticed, not all air conditioner filters are equal. Some time ago there was a thread in which there was information on where to buy sheets of filter material suitable for an air conditioner by cutting the material to size and insert it over the manufacturers' filters.

Anyway, I went to the shop described in the post and looked at the 3M catalog provided by the shop for the 3M distributor for Thailand. I couldn't identify what I was after. Has anyone had better luck? PM<2.5 is the really dangerous stuff (which is really not reported, although it might be measured, in Thailand). PM<10 is what you see reported on the PCD site.

Can find it at home pro. I have it over my aircon intake vents and this is what I wash out. This is what turns the water JET BLACK. I have a smaller filter running with that has a negative ion generated built into. It means I have to dust more often, as the negative ions make all the airborne particles "stick" to surfaces, but I would rather wipe it off my desk than cough it out of my lungs!!

Thanks. Found the 3M Filtrite material at Home Depot in two spots, by the air conditioners and by the mops. There are two sizes, 15x48CM and one half that you cut to the size of your filter frame. Cheap to buy: 249 baht for the larger size.

3M_Filtrite.pdf

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Why Chiang Mai? Seems to me BKK or Chonburi with all the industry and traffic should be more polluted?

They both are, according to the Pollution Control Department :o

/ Priceless

Measurement of PM10 alone via one fixed and one mobile measurement device does not prove the case for winner of the clean air award, sensible and rational people will agree with that I think - the increasingly frequent emergence of negative health data by all manner of folks seems to support that concept. The problem is of course that statements and evidence, for and against in the air quality issue thus far, are all inconclusive and until that gap can be filled this debate will likely continue for some time, unfortunately.

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BTW, does the PCD monitor water pollution levels also because there's an interesting thread currently that talks about water contamination in CM - just wondering if this also falls under the PCD remit.

Yes, it does. I don't have any details, though, so you'll have to check the PCD website. ( http://www.pcd.go.th/indexEng.cfm )

/ Priceless

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