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Smoke, Smog, Dust 2012 Chiang Mai


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This happens every year just before the beginning of the rainy season because the people living in the mountains start burning the forrest because it stimulates wild mushrooms and other edibles It should be illegal, and may well be, but you cannot stop an old bad habbit. Its best to not exercise in such conditions and stay indoors where there is some filtration by air conditioning.

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Never mind Changmai , I have been suffering for 4 weeks in Bangkok with a Chronic cough and sneezing. The air in bangkok has a reddish haze. I noticed that the PCD Air Quality reports have stopped being published since the Air Quality got bad and I started coughing (typical cover up job I think). As a retired Pollution Control Engineer I have looked at the data on the PCD web site and I must say that I cannot believe the figures apart from those given by them for Din Daeng which seem more truthful.

I was thinking of moving from Bangkok perhaps to Changmai because I expected to Air Quality to be better, and it seems now that it is worse and even Hua Hin is affected. Is there anywhere where the air pollution is at a safe level in Thailand?

Really? I live in Wangthonglang and have been riding around Bangkok on in recent days and have been enjoying the low humidity and pleasantly clean air. Of course there are certain parts of Bangkok that are always bad due to traffic pollution, but I haven't seen much in the way of fires this year as things have remained green later the usual thanks to all the rain we've had in and around Bangkok in recent weeks.

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First time in CM, been here 2 weeks but today it hit me hard! I don't know if i'm a pollution-wuss but I can barely stay outside 2 minutes without my chest feeling tight and my head aching..

No, you're not a pollution-wuss, you just haven't bought a condo yet and so haven't developed the cognitive dissonance needed to live in CM longer term. rolleyes.gif

Edited by crusader79
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This happens every year just before the beginning of the rainy season because the people living in the mountains start burning the forrest because it stimulates wild mushrooms and other edibles It should be illegal, and may well be, but you cannot stop an old bad habbit. Its best to not exercise in such conditions and stay indoors where there is some filtration by air conditioning.

Spot on! Five years ago when I went over the mountains between Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai in a bus I was alarmed at those forest fires, but I noticed that no one else showed signs of alarm. It seems that some local farmers set the dry forest on fire so that the het pho mushroom grows better. It is greed that is at the origin of those fires. There sees to be little regard for other life in the forest, small animals, amphibians that die in great numbers, but no one cares.

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Makes me glad I am off to Bali next week for three weeks. I don't see anything there. I hope the rainy season starts before I get back.

David

Let us know what you think of Bali. I have been many times, but not for a few years now. What are you paying for your airfare?

Edited by giddyup
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Never mind Changmai , I have been suffering for 4 weeks in Bangkok with a Chronic cough and sneezing. The air in bangkok has a reddish haze. I noticed that the PCD Air Quality reports have stopped being published since the Air Quality got bad and I started coughing (typical cover up job I think). As a retired Pollution Control Engineer I have looked at the data on the PCD web site and I must say that I cannot believe the figures apart from those given by them for Din Daeng which seem more truthful.

I was thinking of moving from Bangkok perhaps to Changmai because I expected to Air Quality to be better, and it seems now that it is worse and even Hua Hin is affected. Is there anywhere where the air pollution is at a safe level in Thailand?

Phuket seems pretty nice. i wish we had more rain but can't complain about the air quality, very fresh here

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Bring on global warming and the next ice age, we need to kill off about 5 billion people. The human race is a menace to everything, including itself. And only a very tiny fraction of the earths population cares a shit about pollution. So issue all the warnings you want I am happy to see the life span of most humans shortened.

Sorry if that offends any of you. Well not really.

I agree. If 99.9% of the world's population were to be snuffed out it would give the planet a chance to replenish itself. Thank the gods I won't be around to see what's in store for future generations.

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Warnings not to burn forests, fields and any rubbish the people want to get rid of is useless. Throw some of the worst offenders for a year into prison, so that they have time to think about the damage they do to their fellow human beings and to the economy of their country. Large scale pollution is more worrying for tourists than a few bombs in Bangkok.

What after all is the difference between this and sellng drugs to people wihth which they ruin their health.

All the Farang do-gooders will now tell me about burning being part of Thai culture. Culture is a value-free expression and that sort of culture is of extremely low value

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If you live outside Pattaya,you probably smell chickenshit each time the wind blows to your house (if not ,your with the few lucky ones)

In the evening they start up the charcoalburners,they burn everything with wood on ,verry slowly ,so it makes a lot of smoke and stink,the whole night you have to keep the windows closed if the wind comes from the wrong direction.They dont do it in the daytime ,because it's then too obvious how much they pollute.

For the rest ,the thais love to burn : gras ,bamboo,plastic,cement bags,......esspecialy wet things ,so it smokes and stinks allot !

I suspect their nose can't smell smoke or chickenshit?

They dont complain about it annyway,or dont dare to ?

If i drive my mountainbike ,i have to pass all the stinking bins on the street,the smell of occasional rotten dogs corps on the side of the road,burning garbadge..........

So am i the only one who smells all of this ?

Something wrong with me ?hit-the-fan.gif

The most usefull knob in my car is.......the air controll !!! I leave it on recirculation ,never on "fresh air" from outside !

Dont comment on this ,unless you promise to put the aircontroll on "outside air " or drive with your window down,for

at least 1 week .wacko.png

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Ok bright star, and just how do you propose to do that, how do you change a very cost effective habit of centuries for rural farmers? Also, what makes you think the pollution is caused by burning within Thailand, maybe the majority of it is carried in on air currents from China and the like!

You must admit that the burning in Thailand is, at the very least, contributing to the polution. Your comment is not very reasonable or sensable.

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It appears that the Vietnamese are more advanced than Thailand and neighbors, at least from the point of view of no fires. (But also that the Chinese government not so.)

Perhaps northern Vietnam will become the next favourite for expats?

More advanced or stricter control I wonder. Also interesting to note from the map that Northern Australia uses the same ground clearing techniques, I find that particularly odd.

Burning the wild grass in northern Oz is an annual thing. It creates new growth and also reduces the summer fire hazards. A wild fire is uncontrollable.

The smoke probably upsets the camels and the kangaroos, but it's been going on for thousands of years. Not a real lot of people per 1000 square km there.

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Ok bright star, and just how do you propose to do that, how do you change a very cost effective habit of centuries for rural farmers? Also, what makes you think the pollution is caused by burning within Thailand, maybe the majority of it is carried in on air currents from China and the like!

You must admit that the burning in Thailand is, at the very least, contributing to the polution. Your comment is not very reasonable or sensable.

I did after all write "maybe", mostly I was trying to be evocotive rather than take for granted that the pollution was entirely home grown!

If you look at the firemap and select 48 hours or seven days, the current fires show in red whilst the older fires appear in orange, you'll of course need to zoom in to the area that includes northern Thailand and it's neighbours first. It you do that you'll see that currently some 90% of the fires in the region are in Myanmar whilst there's only very few active ones to the East of Chiang Mai. You'll also note that there is a far heavier concentartion of fire dots to the West and North than there is in northern Thailand, play around with the map and its settings and you'll doubtless arrive at the same conclusions, that's what I mean when I refer to imported pollution although I do qualify and also state that Northern Thailand is not totally blameless.

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Haze pollution remains in North

image_201202181246008EFED8E3-94B6-0FBB-225701D45E318230.jpg

CHIANG MAI, Feb 18 - Thailand's northern provinces of Chiang Mai remained covered by haze pollution while concerned agencies planned to use artificial rain to abate particulate dust particles, which are rising above safe levels.

Chiang Mai governor Panadda Disakul said haze pollution blanketed the province for a second day and that he has instructed district chiefs to impose strict measures against those lighting fires in farm and forest areas.

The governor however conceded that it was difficult to control the situation, which has enveloped the northern region, with several provinces facing levels of dust particles rising over all safe levels.

Mr Panadda said a meeting of concerned agencies will be held this week to jointly find an overall solution and to seek cooperation from the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives to use artificial rains to solve the problem.

If the situation worsens, the governor said, C-130 transport aircraft will be used to spray water over the skies of Chiang Mai provincial seat.

On Saturday, dust particles were measured at 179.16 microns at Chiang Mai City Hall.

Local residents began wearing surgical masks in an attempt to avoid eye and nose irritation.

Haze pollution remained critical in Lampang province on Saturday despite rain yesterday evening.

Dust levels at the city pillar shrine was measured on Saturday at 235.33 micrograms per cubic metre.

Chamnong Boonsil, Protected Area Regional Office 13 Lampang Branch, said smog at the city shrine is higher than other areas as it is located in an enclosed area, near a garbage dump and surrounded by construction sites.

Other areas - particularly Mae Mo district - which are covered by smog, but at less critical level than near the city pillar shrine, were believed to be caused by slash and burn farming. (MCOT online news)

tnalogo.jpg

-- TNA 2012-02-18

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I visited Chiang Mai a few months back. What a lovely spot. Just yesterday I gave serious thought to moving there and leaving BKK. Now I realize that living on floor 30, right on the river...is actually a healthier choice!

Until I read this, i did not even connect the dots, that when i returned from CNX to BKK I ended up at the hospital with a really nasty chest infection.

Mystery Solved.

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8 Northern provinces see higher level of dust

PHRAE, 18 February 2012 (NNT) – Forest fires and slash and burn agriculture are causing environmental problems in the North where eight provinces are experiencing a higher level of dust.

According to the Provincial Office of Natural Resources and Environment in Phrae, the amount of dust particles smaller than 10 microns is measured between 83 and 192 microgram per cubic meter, which is considered to be moderately high to health-affecting.

Dust levels in Lampang, Lamphun, Phrae, Chiang Rai, and Phayao are above the standard level. Officials are calling on the public not to do slash and burn agriculture, burn garbage and clear forest areas with a fire. Forest fire control areas have been designated to alleviate the problem.

The situation is most worrying in Lampang where the phenomenon has come earlier than previous years. The smoke there is reported to be very thick and the dust level is higher than previous years.

In Chiang Mai, the dust level is also climbing. The governor has instructed local administrative offices to discuss measures to control the dust level. He has also asked the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry and the navy to help with the rain-making operation at areas with critically thick smoke.

In Mae Hong Son, officials have also urged the locals to protect themselves from the dust when leaving their houses. The dust was reported to have caused Nok Air to halt its flights by one hour yesterday.

nntlogo.jpg

-- NNT 2012-02-18 footer_n.gif

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I was out at my house in mae on this week in the mountains,and there was allot of fires up there,my wife says its some of the local people,they set the fires so that when the rains come the mushrooms come out,she also called them stupid for doing it,and shes one of the local people.Theres also allot of small fires along the sides of the roads, usually caused by cigarettes being thrown out of cars.But the local government here in chaing mai says its not Forrest fires but an ozone problem,I sometimes wonder what drugs these people are on who put theses reports out ,they must think the whole general public are completely stupid,all you have to do is drive 30 mins anyway out of the city and you will see something burning.Anyway the next report will be the usual shift the blame,and say the smokes coming from Burma,you bad burmese fire starters.

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Anyway the next report will be the usual shift the blame,and say the smokes coming from Burma,you bad burmese fire starters.

If you look at the firemap above you'll see that is part of the probrlem!

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This happens every year just before the beginning of the rainy season because the people living in the mountains start burning the forrest because it stimulates wild mushrooms and other edibles It should be illegal, and may well be, but you cannot stop an old bad habbit. Its best to not exercise in such conditions and stay indoors where there is some filtration by air conditioning.

Smartest post yet...and when you ask why the .... would you burn half the mountain?? You get a giggle and a "Head Lam Tae Tae or Head Aroi Mak Mak" and of course another giggle?!

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If the Chinese are buring off and adding to the bad air quality of their neighbors they won't give a tos. Beijing's air quality is worse than any of the pictures I've see on TV and it is a year round problem, day after day after day. Good luck changing the behavior of the farmers when the politicians couldn't care less about the problem.

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I'm here after a few years of living in Seoul ,Korea and frankly am relieved if this is as bad as it gets. In Korea we have "Yellow Dust" which blows in from the gobi desert and very quickly creates serious health problems. They've tried, with little luck, to plant trees to block some of this but in the end we just have to live with it until the season is over.

How much worse does the smoke get here? I've been out on my bike all week without much problems beyond a little sore throat. But then I'm used to always wearing a mask when riding so maybe that helps.

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I'm here after a few years of living in Seoul ,Korea and frankly am relieved if this is as bad as it gets. In Korea we have "Yellow Dust" which blows in from the gobi desert and very quickly creates serious health problems. They've tried, with little luck, to plant trees to block some of this but in the end we just have to live with it until the season is over.

How much worse does the smoke get here? I've been out on my bike all week without much problems beyond a little sore throat. But then I'm used to always wearing a mask when riding so maybe that helps.

The gobi desert dust is a natural phenomenon. But the northern Thai and Burmese forest fires are caused by human destructiveness. Here the forest fires are set on purpose by people and it is not merely a bit of "slash and burn", I was alarmed by the size of them the first time I saw them at close range.

Edited by xavierr
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99.9 % of the fires in northern Australia would be wildfires in uninhabited terrain started by lightning strikes

and nothing to do with ground clearing techniques.

..is the wrong answer - http://www.environment.gov.au/atmosphere/airquality/publications/biomass.html

Looks like the Aussies do similar to the Thai's/Asians

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What happens when the burning season is over? Would there not be tiny, microscopic particulates on the ground, that would get stirred upward by the movement of vehicles and people?

Perhaps the rest of the year it seems nice, and there are no physical symptoms, but would we not continue to ingest these particles, which could produce a negative outcome for health, albeit at a slower pace?

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Does anyone know whether Nan is just as smoky as Chiang Mai right now?

These are the numbers from the aqmthai.com website. PM10 in red (ug/m)^3.

a67. Municipality Nan. 2012-02-17. 8:00:00. 0.9. 9.0. 14.0. 02.01. 92.92.

Chiang Mai is current at: Quite a bump from earlier today. Appears the Nam station is not updated as often so it could be close to the CM numbers by now.

35t. City Hall. 2012-02-17. 16:00:00. 2.0. 43.2. 55.7. 0.3. 123.45.

thank you sir.jap.gif

Im heading to the islands

Cough, huff huff, cough.... think I'll join you.... Don't think I've ever seen it this bad except for Pai, Mae Hong Son, Phrao (maybe) and Lampang (all worse - but not by much). A young baby across the street has been affected, 4 elders (over 70) have been affected in the past 3 days. <deleted>!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?????????????????

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Are you kidding ... I am living here for 5 years now and the burning keeps starting earlier and earlier every year ... Hell, it started in October 2011 here in Cm as soon as the flooding was over and there was no more rain .... not as bad as it is now but started then in any case.... previous years started only in Feb / March then became Nov , then became Nov/ Dec and now this year started in Oct and has now escalated till now and in a furious unseen way ... have not seen in 5 years the likes of it for the past 2 weeks ... it is in fact scary....!! I have guests here right now from Canada and they are just hacking away and find it so difficult to breathe to the point where I had to go out and buy Inhalers for them .... It is really bad !!!

First burn season in Chaing Mai and today is the first time I've seen it like this. Is THIS what it's like through the whole burn season, or is today worse than normal?

Also, where are you guys getting the satellite burn images?

Why didn't you tell your guests to come some other time? Everyone who lives here knows that the end of February and all of March are the worst times.

This is the high season when the weather is supposed to be at it's best! The Ministry of Tourism should get involved or else they could be faced with their worst nightmare.... a fall in visitor numbers.

Edited by bigbamboo
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This happens every year just before the beginning of the rainy season because the people living in the mountains start burning the forrest because it stimulates wild mushrooms and other edibles It should be illegal, and may well be, but you cannot stop an old bad habbit. Its best to not exercise in such conditions and stay indoors where there is some filtration by air conditioning.

Every year, every room our house(s) that is (are) being used by living creatures or humans has air filter (or filters) running full blast 8 - 12 hours a day for the duration of the "smoke season"..... sad.

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