Jump to content

Thailand's Most Polluted Air Is In The North


sriracha john

Recommended Posts

Priceless, my message tracker indicates that you haven't read the PM I sent you yesterday morning.

(Apologies for this off topic post.)

Your (and everybody else's?) message tracking system seems to not be working. I have indeed read your PM, early yesterday as a matter of fact.

Have an excellent day!

/ Priceless

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 230
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

had a lot of friends up here from bangkok at the weekend. all fairly fit. ALL complained of feeling breathless. ALL had a lot of mucus. Lovely word that. Just wondering whether I can send their collective snotrags to the statisticians so they can hang them out on their balconies and collect data from the snot and maybe log it down. This could run and run. just like their noses.

Doi suthep barely visible y/day morning. only slightly better this morn. Everyone sick everyone smelling burning.

Just an idea but the air in the centre of town is always horrific. Get an air monitoring station on the island between art cafe and Thapae gate.

**personal commentary about another member removed--sbk***

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is a very useful source of information about particulate matter:

http://www.epa.gov/air/particlepollution/index.html

Glad you pointed out the US EPA website, Mapguy. If you click on the "standards" link:

http://www.epa.gov/air/particlepollution/standards.html

it says this:

"The Agency revoked the annual PM10 standard, because available evidence does not suggest a link between long-term exposure to PM10 and health problems."

So you may not be able to see the mountain, and the air may be polluted in other ways, but according to the US EPA the PM<10 that everyone is arguing about here does not pose a health problem.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is a very useful source of information about particulate matter:

http://www.epa.gov/air/particlepollution/index.html

Glad you pointed out the US EPA website, Mapguy. If you click on the "standards" link:

http://www.epa.gov/air/particlepollution/standards.html

it says this:

"The Agency revoked the annual PM10 standard, because available evidence does not suggest a link between long-term exposure to PM10 and health problems."

So you may not be able to see the mountain, and the air may be polluted in other ways, but according to the US EPA the PM<10 that everyone is arguing about here does not pose a health problem.

But it also says:

"Small particles less than 10 micrometers in diameter pose the greatest problems, because they can get deep into your lungs, and some may even get into your bloodstream", and then "Fine particles (PM2.5) are the major cause of reduced visibility (haze) in parts of the United States, including many of our treasured national parks and wilderness areas". As I understand things in CM, PM2.5 is not measured or not measured fully.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is a very useful source of information about particulate matter:

http://www.epa.gov/air/particlepollution/index.html

Glad you pointed out the US EPA website, Mapguy. If you click on the "standards" link:

http://www.epa.gov/air/particlepollution/standards.html

it says this:

"The Agency revoked the annual PM10 standard, because available evidence does not suggest a link between long-term exposure to PM10 and health problems."

So you may not be able to see the mountain, and the air may be polluted in other ways, but according to the US EPA the PM<10 that everyone is arguing about here does not pose a health problem.

Your statement is true, as far as the EPA goes, but unfortunately the scientists do not always agree. The World Health Organisation states in a fairly recent report "Air Quality Gidelines - Global Update 2005" ( http://www.euro.who.int/Document/E90038.pdf page 277 ):

"Based on known health effects, both short-term (24-hour) and long-term (annual) guidelines are needed for both of the PM indicators."

"Both of the PM indicators" are the PM10 and the PM2.5 values. Who is one to believe :o

/ Priceless

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But it also says:

"Small particles less than 10 micrometers in diameter pose the greatest problems, because they can get deep into your lungs, and some may even get into your bloodstream", and then "Fine particles (PM2.5) are the major cause of reduced visibility (haze) in parts of the United States, including many of our treasured national parks and wilderness areas". As I understand things in CM, PM2.5 is not measured or not measured fully.

Your understanding is correct, as far as I have been able to ascertain. There appear to be no measuring stations for PM2.5 in Thailand. There is also no Thai standard for PM2.5 pollution in existence.

I think, however, that we must occasionally recall that we live in a third world country that is not always leading the world's scientific development :o There are in fact not that many measuring stations for PM2.5 in Europe either, for once it seems that the US is leading the pack. Europe does not have a standard for PM2.5 pollution either, though one will come into force as a "Target" on 1 January 2010 and as a "Limit" on 1 January 2015.

The WHO report mentioned in my previous post does however indicate that one may use the PM10 value as a proxy variable ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proxy_(statistics) ) for the PM2.5 value:

"PM10 is suggested as an indicator with relevance to the majority of the epidemiological data and for which there is more extensive measurement data throughout the world. However, as discussed below, the numerical guideline value itself is based on studies using PM2.5 as an indicator, and a PM2.5 : PM10 ratio of 0.5 is used to derive an appropriate PM10 guideline value. This ratio of 0.5 is close to that observed typically in urban areas in developing countries and at the bottom of the range (0.5–0.8) found in urban areas in developed countries. If justified by local conditions, this ratio may be changed based on the local data when the local standards are set."

In other words, if you assume that half of the PM10 value that is reported is in fact PM2.5, you are probably not too far off the mark.

/ Priceless

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well if all of the foregoing are true and correct, logically we can state:

1) the reason that the view of Doi Suthep is obscured is as a result of PM2.5 airborne contamination.

2) we don't know the content or make up of the PM2.5 contamination because it is not measured nor quantified.

3) verbal reports and heresay claiming that residents and visitors suffer from a range of maladies that are believed to be the result of airborne contamination, may indeed be correct and accurate and result from the composition of PM2.5 - this would substantiate the Professors claim in the OP regarding lung cancer cases.

4) the degree to which PM10 occurs in CM is not necessarily relevant to the OP or to the claim for cleanest air in Thailand.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My apologies for a long and rather complicated answer to a very brief post. I have, however, found it necessary to try to demonstrate why I don't believe the claims in the OP:

Well if all of the foregoing are true and correct, logically we can state:

1) the reason that the view of Doi Suthep is obscured is as a result of PM2.5 airborne contamination.

The reason that the view of Doi Suthep is obscured is that the air is polluted. Visibility is however influenced by a combination of

- The amount of Particulate Matter pollution

- The distribution of sizes of the polluting particles

- The composition of the polluting particles (soot, SO2, NO2...)

- The humidity (i.e. the amount of water droplets in the air)

- The colour of the ambient light (i.e. light spectrum)

- The angle between the incoming light and the line of sight between observer and observed object

- Other factors

Conclusion: It is not possible to draw direct conclusions about the degree or composition of pollution from observations of the visibility. However, without any pollution visibility would be hundreds of kilometres.

2) we don't know the content or make up of the PM2.5 contamination because it is not measured nor quantified.

True.

3) verbal reports and heresay claiming that residents and visitors suffer from a range of maladies that are believed to be the result of airborne contamination, may indeed be correct and accurate and result from the composition of PM2.5 - this would substantiate the Professors claim in the OP regarding lung cancer cases.

Hearsay that residents and visitors suffer from a range of maladies is probably correct (as confirmed by several research reports quoted earlier in this thread). However, the Thai National Cancer Institute have, in their report "Cancer in Thailand", chapter 11 ( http://www.nci.go.th/File_download/Cancer%...0IV/C-II-11.PDF ) given the following information about the average incidence of lung cancer in Thailand and in some provinces, Chiang Mai being one:

post-20094-1233744515_thumb.jpg

As can be seen from the graph, lung cancer incidence (which may indicate a higher incidence of other maladies as well) in Chiang Mai and Lampang is indeed higher than the national average. In Chiang Mai it is ~140% higher for women and ~44% higher for men, in Lampang it is ~200% higher for women and ~160% higher for men. In none of the provinces shown in the graph is it anywhere near 300% higher, as claimed in the OP.

In a research report published in the Japanese Journal of Clinical Oncology and quoted earlier in the thread ( http://jjco.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/39/2/133 ), there are two graphs showing the incidence of lung cancer among males and females in a number of Asian locations:

post-20094-1233745684_thumb.jpgpost-20094-1233745700_thumb.jpg

According to these graphs there is a higher incidence of lung cancer among females in CM than in most other locations. The same is however not true among males, where the incidence seems to be average.

In a Thai-Japanese report, "Risk factors for lung cancer among Northern Thai women : Epidemiological, nutritional, serological, and bacteriological surveys of residents in high- and low-incidence areas" ( http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=1212389 ), the authors report:

"Lung cancer incidence among Northern Thai women is one of the highest in Asia (an annual age-adjusted incidence rate of 37.4 per 100,000), and the incidence rate significantly differs by geographical districts. Therefore, we conducted a comparative study of women living in the Sarapee area, which showed the highest (crude incidence rate, 40.9), and the Chom Tong area, which had one of the lowest incidence rates (8.5) in Chiang Mai Province, despite the two areas' geographical and cultural closeness. The women in this study were either family members of lung cancer patients or their neighbors. To find clues to the etiology of lung cancer, this study used various epidemiological and biochemical approaches: interviewing on lifestyle factors, duplicate meals, chemical examination of drinking water, biochemical analysis of sera, mutagenicity test of urine, and monitoring of fungi and bacteria in the living environment. We found that tobacco smoking (Khiyo, local cigars) was less frequently observed in Sarapee (high incidence), compared with Chom Tong (low incidence), and that the history of chronic benign respiratory diseases was the most distinct event among women in Sarapee, resulting in a significantly increased percentage of those with a history of both benign respiratory diseases and tobacco smoking. This population revealed increased levels of serum tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, an endogenous tumor promoter. Furthermore, significantly increased urine mutagenicity was found to be closely associated with history of benign respiratory disease in Sarapee. The fungus which was most commonly found in the air inside houses in Sarapee was identified as Microsporum canis. Additionally, significantly increased serum concentrations of a constituent of the fungus were found in Sarapee women, compared with those in Chom Tong. Our results suggest that tobacco (Khiyo) smoking alone may not be able to explain the very high incidence of female lung cancer in Northern Thailand, and that chronic benign respiratory disease, possibly caused by the infection of fungi such as M. canis, is likely to be involved in the etiology of female lung cancer in North Thailand."

A very brief summary (by me, a non-medical person): It appears that the increased incidence of lung cancer among women (only) is primarily due to indoor air quality, in particular repeated benign infections caused by the fungus Microsporum canis and other extremely local factors.

4) the degree to which PM10 occurs in CM is not necessarily relevant to the OP or to the claim for cleanest air in Thailand.

Since PM10 appears to be the only pollutant (widely) measured in Thailand, it is somewhat difficult to envisage what the OP is otherwise referring to. (Other pollutants, such as SO2, NO2, Ozone and others are measured but only occur at comparatively insignificant levels.) Referring to the WHO report quoted earlier, "This ratio of 0.5 [of PM2.5 to PM10] is close to that observed typically in urban areas in developing countries and at the bottom of the range (0.5–0.8) found in urban areas in developed countries." . This seems to indicate that if PM2.5 is indeed a major cause of the unusually high incidence of respiratory illnesses in northern Thailand (which has not been indicated by any of the research reports that I have found), then the values for PM10 can be used as an indicator of the amount of PM2.5.

I certainly have not (and I don't think anybody else has) claimed that Chiang Mai has the "cleanest air in Thailand". On the contrary, I have on a number of occasions claimed that it has a comparatively low yearly average pollution level, but that Surat Thani appears to be the least polluted among the locations for which the Pollution Control Department publishes its readings. This is confirmed by the following graph, which I have posted before in numerous threads (including this one):

post-20094-1233747862_thumb.jpg

(The horizontal green line "Yearly limit" is the rather recently published Thai standard for highest acceptable yearly average PM10 level.)

/ Priceless

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unless I'm going completely mad, the answers in your post seem to support the OP's claim and also remove any notion that CM air is anything other than very polluted!

On the OP's claim re lung cancer: the chart you posted from 1998-2000shows CM and its near neighbor Lampang as being the two locations with the highest incidence of lung cancer. It would not be unrealistic to expect that in the nine years since that study the numbers for CM may well have gone higher. Even if they remain nearly the same it makes the OP's claims much more believable than first thought.

It IS indeed possible to draw conclusions from the fact that Doi Suthep remains obscured from view and that is that the air is contaminated with PM2.5, were that not the case Doi Suthep would not be obscured at all. The fact that we don't know the content of the PM2.5 is a whole other story however.

As an aside, if there were no contamination in the air whatsoever we would all be able to see as far as the horizon (just as we can in Phuket most days). It is therefore not possible to see hundreds of kilometers!

Discussions regarding PM<10 in connection with the subject of health is meaningless, only discussions about PM<2.5 are appropriate.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unless I'm going completely mad, the answers in your post seem to support the OP's claim and also remove any notion that CM air is anything other than very polluted!

On the OP's claim re lung cancer: the chart you posted from 1998-2000shows CM and its near neighbor Lampang as being the two locations with the highest incidence of lung cancer. It would not be unrealistic to expect that in the nine years since that study the numbers for CM may well have gone higher. Even if they remain nearly the same it makes the OP's claims much more believable than first thought.

It IS indeed possible to draw conclusions from the fact that Doi Suthep remains obscured from view and that is that the air is contaminated with PM2.5, were that not the case Doi Suthep would not be obscured at all. The fact that we don't know the content of the PM2.5 is a whole other story however.

As an aside, if there were no contamination in the air whatsoever we would all be able to see as far as the horizon (just as we can in Phuket most days). It is therefore not possible to see hundreds of kilometers!

Discussions regarding PM<10 in connection with the subject of health is meaningless, only discussions about PM<2.5 are appropriate.

The OP claimed the following:

"Thailand's Most Polluted Air Is In The North, a four-fold increased risk of lung cancer compared to other areas"

Thailand's most polluted air is not in the North! According to the Pollution Control Department it is in and around Bangkok (Samut Prakarn, Sara Buri, Din Daeng etc.).

The incidence of lung cancer in the North (Chiang Mai and Lampang) is considerably higher than the Thai average, but nowhere near 300% higher.

Ergo: The statements in the OP are false.

I am not a psychiatrist and can consequently not have a personal opinion on the matter of your sanity. However, if you say so, you probably are going completely mad.

I have come to the conclusion that the poster "chiang mai" is either incapable or unwilling to understand any kind of logical reasoning. This will consequently be my last post in reply to any of his.

/ Priceless

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unless I'm going completely mad, the answers in your post seem to support the OP's claim and also remove any notion that CM air is anything other than very polluted!

On the OP's claim re lung cancer: the chart you posted from 1998-2000shows CM and its near neighbor Lampang as being the two locations with the highest incidence of lung cancer. It would not be unrealistic to expect that in the nine years since that study the numbers for CM may well have gone higher. Even if they remain nearly the same it makes the OP's claims much more believable than first thought.

It IS indeed possible to draw conclusions from the fact that Doi Suthep remains obscured from view and that is that the air is contaminated with PM2.5, were that not the case Doi Suthep would not be obscured at all. The fact that we don't know the content of the PM2.5 is a whole other story however.

As an aside, if there were no contamination in the air whatsoever we would all be able to see as far as the horizon (just as we can in Phuket most days). It is therefore not possible to see hundreds of kilometers!

Discussions regarding PM<10 in connection with the subject of health is meaningless, only discussions about PM<2.5 are appropriate.

The OP claimed the following:

"Thailand's Most Polluted Air Is In The North, a four-fold increased risk of lung cancer compared to other areas"

Thailand's most polluted air is not in the North! According to the Pollution Control Department it is in and around Bangkok (Samut Prakarn, Sara Buri, Din Daeng etc.).

The incidence of lung cancer in the North (Chiang Mai and Lampang) is considerably higher than the Thai average, but nowhere near 300% higher.

Ergo: The statements in the OP are false.

I am not a psychiatrist and can consequently not have a personal opinion on the matter of your sanity. However, if you say so, you probably are going completely mad.

I have come to the conclusion that the poster "chiang mai" is either incapable or unwilling to understand any kind of logical reasoning. This will consequently be my last post in reply to any of his.

/ Priceless

You're not getting off the hook that easy matey! I'm sure you are aware that what is being discussed here is not so much just the single OP in this thread but the combined postings you have made over time that have continued to misrepresent the air quality in CM. Unfortunately I can't "play" any more tonight but will continue in the AM.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's difficult to follow this kind of thread. When you read the 100th post, you don't remember what the opening one was exactly about. Before, in the options, there was a function that allowed members to change the skin in order to keep the OP on top of the page. Where is it gone?

Edited by adjan jb
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unless I'm going completely mad, the answers in your post seem to support the OP's claim and also remove any notion that CM air is anything other than very polluted!

On the OP's claim re lung cancer: the chart you posted from 1998-2000shows CM and its near neighbor Lampang as being the two locations with the highest incidence of lung cancer. It would not be unrealistic to expect that in the nine years since that study the numbers for CM may well have gone higher. Even if they remain nearly the same it makes the OP's claims much more believable than first thought.

It IS indeed possible to draw conclusions from the fact that Doi Suthep remains obscured from view and that is that the air is contaminated with PM2.5, were that not the case Doi Suthep would not be obscured at all. The fact that we don't know the content of the PM2.5 is a whole other story however.

As an aside, if there were no contamination in the air whatsoever we would all be able to see as far as the horizon (just as we can in Phuket most days). It is therefore not possible to see hundreds of kilometers!

Discussions regarding PM<10 in connection with the subject of health is meaningless, only discussions about PM<2.5 are appropriate.

The OP claimed the following:

"Thailand's Most Polluted Air Is In The North, a four-fold increased risk of lung cancer compared to other areas"

Thailand's most polluted air is not in the North! According to the Pollution Control Department it is in and around Bangkok (Samut Prakarn, Sara Buri, Din Daeng etc.).

The incidence of lung cancer in the North (Chiang Mai and Lampang) is considerably higher than the Thai average, but nowhere near 300% higher.

Ergo: The statements in the OP are false.

I am not a psychiatrist and can consequently not have a personal opinion on the matter of your sanity. However, if you say so, you probably are going completely mad.

I have come to the conclusion that the poster "chiang mai" is either incapable or unwilling to understand any kind of logical reasoning. This will consequently be my last post in reply to any of his.

/ Priceless

For Pete's sake, Priceless! There you go again! Get off it! Please don't cheapen your often valuable contributions to the discussion with this sort of thing! Please don't cogitate yourself into a corner! Sometimes I think your problem isn't just considering how many angels dance on the head of a pin, but focusing absurdly on one angel!!

As everyone well knows, reported scientific work is often overtaken by new work. Sometimes, people aren't referring to the same studies. Sometimes, studies don't agree. You have, as I recall, yourself pointed out such things. Why do you bother parsing a news article in The Nation?

When it gets to the policy-making level regarding pollution, certain other perspectives beyond the scientific might intrude. For example, Priceless, you noted not long ago (above) that the EPA and WHO don't agree re retaining PM<10 "standard." Why is that? I can only speculate. Perhaps this is totally unfair, but note that the EPA decision came half way through George W. Bush's tenure in the White House. The EPA went through a tough eight years during the Bush administration. This has been well-reported. One recent incident would be the last-minute ("midnight") regulations to ban government scientists from testifying about environmental effects on global warming! But that's not my real point here...

You have very recently pointed out that PM<10 measurement is apparently (according to WHO) a decent "proxy" measure of PM<2.5 measurement. I have shared the info that haze, what we experience in Chiang Mai, comprises a number of pollutants: principal among them being carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur (and other) compounds plus particulate matter. Of the latter, PM<2.5 (the really insidious-to-health fine particulate matter) is apparently much more a component in haze than the balance of particulate matter up to PM<10 where is it currently measured. [That's 2.5 - 10 microns, if I didn't put it clearly.]

What comprises haze (and limits visibility at the very least) changes from place to place. If you look at American EPA studies of haze in the Western and Eastern climes of the USA, you see significant changes in the mix of chemical compounds. One thing is mostly missing, however: particulate matter --- except when there are fires. Well, surprise, surprise!!

To bring this point home, as you have indicated on more than one occasion, the compounds of sulfur, nitrogen and carbon plus ozone also measured by Thailand's pollution control department (PCD) don't seem at first glance to be particularly troublesome. I am not so certain that that reflects on-the-street experiences of people in Chiang Mai traffic, but never mind --- for now ---we have never brought these pollutants into the general discussion (to the relief of most folks, I expect!). What people see in Chiang Mai --- as far as crap in the air in concerned; not other factors of visibility, such as sun angle) --- is largely PM<2.5 pollution haze.

Simple illustration. Drive down a dry dusty road. Darn near choke to death, right? Wait five minutes. Walk back. Where you passed before, the air is clear. Basically, the heavy dust the auto stirred up has settled. PM<2.5 isn't like that. It stays in the air and often travels long distances. If you have stagnant air that is concentrated topographically, as in the Chiang Mai valley (sometimes trapped by temperature inversions), then you might be dealing with a pretty horrific situation --- but not one you can't do something about!

So, hang onto your hat, Gladys, we aren't done yet! All of the back and forth on this thread is more than mental masturbation, but we should get on to talk about what to do to make a bad situation better. Nothing changes overnight, but there are personal things that anyone can do to make things better.

Information, education, and enforcement. Sometimes, just being "persistent." There are ways to do that without coming to fisticuffs, aren't there? Case in point: the change in attitudes, regulation and practice regarding the smoking of tobacco.

More on the practical stuff later. But then, you already have some ideas, don't you all?

For those who think I am a "doom and gloom" guy, I'm not. I love it here. It is home. I simply want to enjoy it as long as I can and help in some way my family and all who live here enjoy it for a longer healthier life. So, what's "doom and gloom" about that?!

For others, usually on the sideline, who enjoy the "ping pong" of this discussion and occasionally chime in when not on the lookout for potential shoplifters or otherwise seeking the best hamburger in town: Hey! Life isn't just pitching pennies!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For others, usually on the sideline, who enjoy the "ping pong" of this discussion and occasionally chime in when not on the lookout for potential shoplifters or otherwise seeking the best hamburger in town: Hey! Life isn't just pitching pennies!

Priceless has never claimed that there is no pollution in Chiang Mai, but rather that it is not one of the "worst places on the planet" as used to be posted here pretty regularly.

I think that Priceless is just getting bored of proving the same thing over and over to those who refuse to believe scientific evidence because they don't want to believe it and keep coming up with new and ever more convoluted reasons why. Anyone could get tired of arguing just for the sake of arguing after a year or two. :o

Edited by Ulysses G.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

For others, usually on the sideline, who enjoy the "ping pong" of this discussion and occasionally chime in when not on the lookout for potential shoplifters or otherwise seeking the best hamburger in town: Hey! Life isn't just pitching pennies!

Priceless has never claimed that there is no pollution in Chiang Mai, but rather that it is not one of the "worst places on the planet" as used to be posted here pretty regularly.

I think that Priceless is just getting bored of proving the same thing over and over to those who refuse to believe scientific evidence because they don't want to believe it and keep coming up with new and ever more convoluted reasons why. Anyone could get tired of arguing just for the sake of arguing after a year or two. :o

The problem is the distance between the view that Priceless holds versus that of the man in the street and the associated weighted emphasis. Joe citizen thinks there's a problem with air quality in CM and says things like, I'm constantly wheezing during burning season, coughing all the time and my eyes itch and granted Joe makes rash unsupportable statements such as, CM has got the worst air quality of anywhere. Then along comes Priceless with his graphs and proves that the PM<10 picture in CM is actually quite reasonable by comparison to other parts of the country and in repudiating Joe's brash claims leaves the reader with a view that is 180 degrees off from Joe's - readers are led to be believe that the air quality is actually quite good. The real problem of course is that neither Joe nor Priceless have represented the picture accurately or appropriately in total. Perhaps if Priceless were to acknowledge more appropriately that there are indeed some serious issues with air quality in CM then there would be less need for him to keep proving again and again his case that supports just one small slice of the problem pie.

There are indeed issue with data collection in that sampling is inadequate in CM - there are also issues with what is sampled although this appears not to be a problem unique to CM. But to hide behind and defend available data when the indications are that a significant health risk exists is, in my world at least, hugely inappropriate and at a minimum, very misleading. Indeed it is not correct to say that CM has the most polluted air in Thailand but is could well be accurate to say it has the third most polluted air behind Bangkok and Samut Prakan. Well for goodness sake, Bangkok is a huge city and Samut Prakan is in the middle of a major industrial zone so takers for the first and second place prizes come as no surprise. But people here say CM, hey CM is in the country, in the mountains and there's no too much evidence here of huge manufacturing plants belching poison into the air. CM is where they grow flowers and vegetables and it's where we have chosen to live and/or retire, I expected CM to be number twenty six or thirty in the league table, not third - if we could all get closer to bridging that perception gap and nearer to an accurate statement of conditions, I for one would feel much more relaxed that everyone was working to understand reality rather than championing a cause. As for whether or not CM is one of the "worst paces on the planet" when it comes to air quality, I doubt this is even close to being true. But what is disturbing is to realize that CM may be one of the worst places in Thailand when it comes to pollution.

Edited by chiang mai
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's difficult to follow this kind of thread. When you read the 100th post, you don't remember what the opening one was exactly about. Before, in the options, there was a function that allowed members to change the skin in order to keep the OP on top of the page. Where is it gone?

Just to get off the topic, the problem isn't necessarily 100+ post but the a number of single sentence posts that include the same long previous replies that just happens to be quite long. A real pain, IMHO.

I was almost tempted to include some of Priceless replies for effect. :o

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

30095775-01.jpg

Lampang smog the thickest in the country

The smog currently hitting Lampang is the thickest in the country, a senior environment official said yesterday.

Suwit Khattiyawong said he would meet with the provincial Governor today to discuss solutions to the problem, as well as to issue a health warning to the local public. Dust elements smaller than 10 microns in smog were hazardous to respiratory problems.

The three highest smog density has been detected in Lampang: 221 microgram per cubic metres in Muang district and 207 and 232 units in Mae Moh district.

Meanwhile, some residents of Thailand's northern province of Chiang Mai are on 24-hour security alert for forest fires as more than 100 blazes have occurred in the first 45 days of this year, according to a senior provincial forest fire control official.

Chiang Mai's Forest Fire Control Operation Division Chief Surapol Leelavaropas said that from the beginning of the year, 111 forest fires already occurred, most of which believed to have been fires set by villagers who believe that the burning and subsequent ash will stimulate wild mushroom growth and nourish a better crop for a higher yield.

According to Mr. Surapol, 240 acres of Chiang Mai forest and woodlands have been burned within the past month and a half, mostly in Hang Dong and Hot districts.

Wildfires have also caused smog and polluted air over the province during recent days.

Meanwhile, Hmong ethnic people living in the Doi Suthep Pui National Park area have carved out a 20-kilometre-long forest fireguards around their village. They also set up 13 patrol groups to monitor possible forest fires around the clock.

The authorities are also raising awareness among the Hmong and other local residents in the mountains of the danger of forest fires, in an attempt to prevent further man-made fires being set off.

- The Nation / 2009-02-16

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1234680486.jpg

Vigilant residents monitor Chiang Mai forest fires

CHIANG MAI, Feb15 (TNA) – Some residents of Thailand's northern province of Chiang Mai are on 24-hour security alert for forest fires as more than 100 blazes have occurred in the first 45 days of this year, according to a senior provincial forest fire control official.

Chiang Mai's Forest Fire Control Operation Division chief Surapol Leelavaropas said that from the beginning of the year, 111 forest fires already occurred, most of which believed to have been fires set by villagers who believe that the burning and subsequent ash will stimulate wild mushroom growth and nourish a better crop for a higher yield.

According to Mr. Surapol, 240 acres of Chiang Mai forest and woodlands have been burned within the past month and a half, mostly in Hang Dong and Hot districts. Wildfires have also caused smog and polluted air over the province during recent days.

Meanwhile, Hmong ethnic people living in the Doi Suthep-Pui National Park area have carved out a 20-kilometre long forest fireguards around their village. They also set up 13 patrol groups to monitor possible forest fires around the clock.

The authorities are also raising awareness among the Hmong and other local residents in the mountains of the danger of forest fires, in an attempt to prevent further man-made fires being set off.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lampang is the site of a large coal-fired electrical generation plant, as I recall.

According to officials at the Chiang Mai Office of Natural Resources and Environment, 80% of Chiang Mai province is forest.

From The Guardian, Monday 16 February 2009, an article by Ian Sample, science correspondent:

The tropics on fire: scientist's grim vision of global warming

Tropical forests may dry out and become vulnerable to devastating wildfires as global warming accelerates over the coming decades, a senior scientist has warned.

Soaring greenhouse gas emissions, driven by a surge in coal use in countries such as China and India, are threatening temperature rises that will turn damp and humid forests into parched tinderboxes, said Dr Chris Field, co-chair of the UN's Nobel prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Higher temperatures could see wildfires raging through the tropics and a large scale melting of the Arctic tundra, releasing billions of tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere that will accelerate warming even further, he said.

Field, director of global ecology at the Carnegie Institute, told the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Chicago at the weekend that the IPCC's last report on climate change in 2007 had substantially underestimated the severity of global warming over the rest of the century.

The report concluded that the Earth's temperature is likely to rise between 1.1C and 6.4C by 2100, depending on future global carbon emissions. "We now have data showing that from 2000 to 2007, greenhouse gas emissions increased far more rapidly than we expected, primarily because developing countries, like China and India, saw a huge upsurge in electric power generation, almost all of it based on coal," Field said. The next report, which Field will oversee, is due in 2014 and will now include future scenarios where global warming is far more serious than previous reports have suggested, he said.

Field said that if the tropics became dry enough for fires to break out, tropical forests would pass a "tipping point" from absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to releasing it.

"Tropical forests are essentially inflammable. You couldn't get a fire to burn there if you tried. But if they dry out just a little, the result can be very large and destructive wildfires. It is increasingly clear that as you produce a warmer world, lots of forested areas that had been acting as carbon sinks could be converted to carbon sources," he said. The result could lead to runaway warming.

Field's warning was echoed by French scientists, who said the IPCC's estimate that sea levels would rise around 40cm by 2100 was likely to be a best case scenario.

Former US vice-president Al Gore, who spoke at the meeting on Friday night, called for a globally coordinated stimulus to tackle climate change. "We've now reached the stage where continuing on our present course will threaten the entirety of human civilisation," he said.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think that article doesn't make a distinction between tropical rainforest / evergreen forest, and the stuff that you get around Northern Thailand which is not rainforest, and dries up to a crisp every year in Feb-April anyways.

So even though that's normal for the North, for some reason we don't get really massive wildfires, just the localized slow burning of dead leaves and such.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1234698162.jpg

Smog siege in Lampang, Phrae, Lamphun, Chiang Mai

CHIANG MAI, Feb15 (TNA) – Respiratory illness is rampant in Thailand's north as seasonal burning combined with hotter weather and an earlier-than-usual summer brings suffering to large numbers of residents.

Worst-hit is Lampang where airborne particulate pollution levels have risen to 232 microns per cubic metre -- almost double the maximum acceptable standard, while Phrae at 171 microns and Lamphun at 126 microns are all suffering more severely than Chiang Mai.

Despite Chiang Mai's pollution in theory being within 'acceptable' health-standard limits, hundreds of Chiang Mai residents are going to hospital for treatment as they are suffering from the pollution-laden smog.

Medical authorities in the outlying provinces have not reported as clearly as has Chiang Mai – but Lamphun, Phrae and Lampang – are being blanketed by dust particles well above the danger level.

Maharaj Nakhon Chiang Mai Hospital Director Dr. Wattana Navacharoen said that hundreds of local residents suffering respiratory-related illnesses from smog over the past week have come to hospital for treatment. Medical staff have warned the pubic that only facial masks can protect them from inhaling the polluted air.

Dr. Wattana noted that some patients decided to move temporarily to other provinces to be able to breath relatively fresh air.

The Pollution Control Department reported on Sunday that dust particle level in the Chiang Mai provincial seat registered 109 microns per cubic metre, pushing close to the maximum acceptable standard of 120 microns per cubic metre.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lampang is the site of a large coal-fired electrical generation plant, as I recall.

According to officials at the Chiang Mai Office of Natural Resources and Environment, 80% of Chiang Mai province is forest.

From The Guardian, Monday 16 February 2009, an article by Ian Sample, science correspondent:

The tropics on fire: scientist's grim vision of global warming

Tropical forests may dry out and become vulnerable to devastating wildfires as global warming accelerates over the coming decades, a senior scientist has warned.

Soaring greenhouse gas emissions, driven by a surge in coal use in countries such as China and India, are threatening temperature rises that will turn damp and humid forests into parched tinderboxes, said Dr Chris Field, co-chair of the UN's Nobel prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Higher temperatures could see wildfires raging through the tropics and a large scale melting of the Arctic tundra, releasing billions of tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere that will accelerate warming even further, he said.

Field, director of global ecology at the Carnegie Institute, told the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Chicago at the weekend that the IPCC's last report on climate change in 2007 had substantially underestimated the severity of global warming over the rest of the century.

The report concluded that the Earth's temperature is likely to rise between 1.1C and 6.4C by 2100, depending on future global carbon emissions. "We now have data showing that from 2000 to 2007, greenhouse gas emissions increased far more rapidly than we expected, primarily because developing countries, like China and India, saw a huge upsurge in electric power generation, almost all of it based on coal," Field said. The next report, which Field will oversee, is due in 2014 and will now include future scenarios where global warming is far more serious than previous reports have suggested, he said.

Field said that if the tropics became dry enough for fires to break out, tropical forests would pass a "tipping point" from absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to releasing it.

"Tropical forests are essentially inflammable. You couldn't get a fire to burn there if you tried. But if they dry out just a little, the result can be very large and destructive wildfires. It is increasingly clear that as you produce a warmer world, lots of forested areas that had been acting as carbon sinks could be converted to carbon sources," he said. The result could lead to runaway warming.

Field's warning was echoed by French scientists, who said the IPCC's estimate that sea levels would rise around 40cm by 2100 was likely to be a best case scenario.

Former US vice-president Al Gore, who spoke at the meeting on Friday night, called for a globally coordinated stimulus to tackle climate change. "We've now reached the stage where continuing on our present course will threaten the entirety of human civilisation," he said.

Further information:

Lampang coal: http://www.bangkokpost.com/business/econom...red-power-plant

post-55418-1234791821_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lampang is the site of a large coal-fired electrical generation plant, as I recall.

It burns lignite, the lowest grade of coal with a high pollutant/energy ratio.

On the am of Feb 12 I flew a hot air balloon from Nok airfield in N Ban Thi and the vis was quite poor even after the light ground fog burned off. The next am I flew out of Ban SanUm in Doi Saket, about 15km to the N, and the vis was fantastic. I have no idea what happened over the intervening 24 hours as the surface and winds aloft (to 300' anyway) were the same both days.

Up here in Pai there appears to be an inversion layer in the am keeping the smoke from all the regional forest burnings trapped in the valley until it warms up mid morning. If I fly my microlight up above the layer (around 500') the viz improves dramatically.

I have no idea what the particle size is, but it seems to me that by periodically burning out the undergrowth they are preventing an otherwise inevitable lightning-caused catastrophic forest fire, which would release a lot more CO2 and whatever in addition to the related environmental damage...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think that article doesn't make a distinction between tropical rainforest / evergreen forest, and the stuff that you get around Northern Thailand which is not rainforest, and dries up to a crisp every year in Feb-April anyways.

So even though that's normal for the North, for some reason we don't get really massive wildfires, just the localized slow burning of dead leaves and such.

This might be helpful in understanding forests in the area. There are other sources of information similar to this one, but not so specific to Chiang Mai.

post-55418-1234886642_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Information, education, and enforcement. Sometimes, just being "persistent." There are ways to do that without coming to fisticuffs, aren't there? Case in point: the change in attitudes, regulation and practice regarding the smoking of tobacco.

More on the practical stuff later. But then, you already have some ideas, don't you all?

I am aware that some people complain if new threads are started on the air pollution topic, but could a separate one be started strictly for the practical, positive stuff ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.






×
×
  • Create New...