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Smoke, Smog, Dust 2014 Chiang Mai


Tywais

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We are in Pai.... cannot see more than 500 metres, sore eyes and cough. Each night in the hills they light fires anew.

Makes for good sunrise and sunset, and strange orange moon. But people want to leave to find fresh air.

Sent from my GT-P5110 using Thaivisa Connect Thailand mobile app

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Hi, I have now finished testing most of what I wanted to test. I will

do some more testing, but this will mostly be related to how much time

my air purifier needs to make the room clean, and what speed setting is

necessary when the pollution is extra heavy, so is probably of little general

interest.

There was quite a bit of data gathered, and so I found it easiest to use

my regular document processing system for my own thinking and analyising.

While I admittedly did not pay much attention to others possibly reading

this document when I started on it, I have tried to attach my document as a

PDF-file with this message and have tried to make it more readable for others,

in case anyone else should be interested in reading it.

My short conclusion is that the 3M Filtrete material works, and does

improve things somewhat, but much less than I expected. 3M Filtrete

simply wrapped around a fan also improves things considerably. But only the

air purifier brings the particle count down to fair level, at least without too

much noise.

Thanks for all the kind comments. I was not too proud of the quality of

the report myself (when half-way done I almost deleted it, rather than

continued working on it), but the kind comments inspired me to make some

updates to the report, and I have uploaded a new version.

Changes are:

- added table with direct output values from the Blueair 650E.

I had the data when I posted the original report, but unfortunately

forgot to include it.

- added some graphs showing how quality improves after running a brand new

AC with 3M Filtrete, and after running Blueair 650E.

Note that this is a brand new AC, located inside the city and with 3M

Filtrete installed over the original air filters. This installation

should be more "according to instructions" than how I did it with

Old AC-3M.

I also think the graphs make it much easier to visualise the difference in

effect between these two devices.

- removed my usage of PM10, instead calling it PMlarge, to avoid

conflict with the official definitions for PM10, which includes particles

of size 2.5um and less also.

No noteworthy changes to the conclusions, or previous text (except

replacing PM2.5 with PMlarge) I believe.

There are still some things I want to do. Most importantly for myself;

find the correlation between the PM10 mass reported by the

governments devices (on which the health standards are based), and

the particle counts on my DC1700, and perhaps also the correlation

between pm10 and pm2.5, but not sure how interesting that is to others.

analysis.pdf

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A Thaivisa timeline. Seems not much has really changed since my search through the CM forum on the smoke situation starting in 2004. Rather common theme from then to now. Added a statement from each topic. Only went as far as a few years but sounds pretty much the same now with the same debate and government promises as it did then.

March 05, 2004 - The View(s) Yesterday...

The View(s) Yesterday

I wonder if it really is that local. Because a week ago I also noticed very bad haze around town, but it did NOT clear up when going out of town, all the way past Chiang Dao North to "Arunothai" / Doi Angkhang. That's as the sticks as sticky as sticks get in Thailand, but still hazy. Of course I don't doubt that other areas can suddenly be clear, like you got in Om Koi (Love that area too)

I really wonder what's causing this, and why it's so radically different one day to the next. I always thought it was people burning waste, leaves and fields.. but the effect is NOT localized to populated areas and does differ radically; one day can be perfectly clear, the next it looks like you can cut it with a knife.

BTW, unrelated issue how long do you think you could take driving from one end of Chiang Mai (province) to the other? Say Om Koi near Tak all the way North to the Burmese border / Mae Ai disrict? I bet that would take considerable time right?

-------------------------------------

March 02, 2006 - Haze Spreading In Chiang Mai

I started a small thread about this a couple of days ago but I didn't realise it was this bad.

Yesterday there were fires burning on both side of the road less than 1 km from the house and I live next to the Mae Wong national park and one of the fires was in the park area. I could see, smell and even hear them burning but nothing will ever be done about it.

If only people would realise what they are doing is ruining the future for their children and grand children but as usual in Thailand money in your hand talks louder than a promise for the future

____________________________

February 18, 2007 - Chiang Mai Air Pollution Worsens

Chiang Mai air pollution worsens

CHIANG MAI: -- Chiang Mai Public Health Office is warning residents, especially the elderly and those with respiratory diseases, to avoid prolonged outdoor activities as the air pollution in the city is reaching critical levels.

The Department of Pollution Control showed dust particles, smaller than 10 microns, are rising to a harmful level.

Medics report that the number of people suffering from respiratory diseases in Chiang Mai is rising dramatically, with an increase of 20 per cent expected this year.

The poor air is blamed on the city's location in a basin, which traps pollution, and the common practice of burning rubbish outdoors.

--------------------------------------------

March 13, 2007 - The Great Chiang Mai Haze Competition

The Great Chiang Mai Haze Contest

Guess tomorrows PM-10 value and win a super prize!

Whoever is closest in their prediction will win a marvelous imported (from Spain) dust mask, valued at 175 baht. Entries close on 14 March 2007, 9am. The value as listed for Chiang Mai on the Government PCD site will be final.

Get your prediction in today!

(My prediction is: 326)

----------------------------------------

March 14, 2007 - How Much Is Your Health Affected By The Smog ?

UG - I've noticed that you have made many posts pooh-poohing the pollution problems, I'm amazed and I suspect (hope) that I am not getting your sense of humour.

Go to any ENT doctor in the city and look at the queue, read the pollution reports online, compare with almost anywhere else in the world and be very concerned.

Some reports are even suggesting that going outside will remain a bad idea for 3 months (yes, three!):

3 out of our 4 children are coughing, half of the adults in the extended family are similar and everyone I know has that horrible smarting feeling in their eyes.

If it was practical I would be sat on a beach right now down by the gulf on the coast or on an island with all of my family - Chiang Mai is dangerously unhealthy at the moment especially for the young, elderly and weak - FACT.

----------------------------------

March 16, 2007 - American Embassy Issues Health Warning

This message alerts American citizens living in or visiting northern Thailand to the need to take appropriate health-related precautions due to the unhealthful air quality northern Thailand is currently experiencing. Air quality experts report that excessive trash burning, brush clearing, forest fires and other factors have resulted in severe air contamination in the areas surrounding Chiang Mai. According to the Pollution Control Department of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, air pollution levels in Chiang Mai have exceeded the maximum acceptable level since the beginning of March. On March 14, the level of particulate matter in the air exceeded the “emergency” level. Measurements at or near the “emergency” level are expected for at least the next several days.

--------------------------------

March 16, 2007 - Thai Haze Blamed On Long Winter

AFP CHIANG MAI, Thailand (AFP) - The haze that has blanketed northern Thailand for nearly two weeks may have been caused by freak weather patterns, experts say, warning of possible serious long-term health concerns.

While authorities in the northern tourist hotspot of Chiang Mai have urged tribal farmers to stop burning their fields and even banned street vendors from grilling meats, experts say unusual weather patterns are more likely to blame.

The haze, caused by slash-and-burn farming and wildfires in northern Thailand and parts of Laos and Myanmar, has choked eight northern Thai provinces for nearly two weeks, affecting some five million people.

Experts believe the cold winter may have trapped the smoke close to the ground and prevented it from dissipating in the atmosphere.

---------------------------------

March 17, 2007 - Links To Photos Of Chiang Mai Haze

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We have a cupla hills burning up a treat right now in Mae Onn. Air pollution is outrageously high. The locals are clearing the hills because they believe that mushrooms will grow there. The rumours are that these mushrooms can be sold for ThB 500/ kilo. Black ash all over my property, deck and pool; no doubt some in my lungs. I thought the new governor was going to stop this practice.

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Around Pai there are many hills, and there is burning each night. With the absence of wind, Pai valley is bad. Thanks for the info, my thai wife could not explain what they grow. :-)

Sent from my GT-P5110 using Thaivisa Connect Thailand mobile app

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Wife and I drove from CM to our home in Lamphun -- ugggh! Talk about vile air. Every time we drive down I see multiple fires, and today was no exception. I feel sorry for the tourists who come during 'high season' only to find 'low to no visibility'. "Wow! Let's go to Doi Suthep!" And see what? A smog bank hanging over every valley in the region. Yuk!

Colorful sunsets, but I'm ready for rain. sad.png

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Wife and I drove from CM to our home in Lamphun -- ugggh! Talk about vile air. Every time we drive down I see multiple fires, and today was no exception. I feel sorry for the tourists who come during 'high season' only to find 'low to no visibility'. "Wow! Let's go to Doi Suthep!" And see what? A smog bank hanging over every valley in the region. Yuk!

Colorful sunsets, but I'm ready for rain. sad.png

I was up on Doi Suthep on Saturday and yes I heard the tourists saying Chiangmai is a <deleted> place and they will never come back due to the pollution.

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I read an email today from someone coming into Chiang Mai on Air Asia this morning.

They had three attempts at landing because they couldn't see the runway.

I've heard of this in provincial airports, but not Chiang Mai.

Shocking really.

And don't they have ILS in Chiang Mai?

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I read an email today from someone coming into Chiang Mai on Air Asia this morning.

They had three attempts at landing because they couldn't see the runway.

I've heard of this in provincial airports, but not Chiang Mai.

Shocking really.

And don't they have ILS in Chiang Mai?

Yes, they have ILS, but the minimums are still 200' ceiling AGL and 1/4 mile visibility. Below those conditions the PIC executes a missed approach. You usually can get 2 - 3 attempts before having to divert to the secondary.

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I read an email today from someone coming into Chiang Mai on Air Asia this morning.

They had three attempts at landing because they couldn't see the runway.

I've heard of this in provincial airports, but not Chiang Mai.

Shocking really.

And don't they have ILS in Chiang Mai?

They should have ILS in Chiang Mai so it is a little puzzling.

However it made for an amusing sight on FlightRadar24. ;)

post-64232-0-71411500-1395064385_thumb.j

Source: http://www.flightradar24.com/data/flights/ak1914/#2e82e87

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All in all, not that it is pleasing to say this while clearing my household air, things are actually not so bad this year as in some previous years. This is not to excuse the still serious nature of the air pollution problem. Newcomers, however, don't have much perspective. In that respect, Tywais has recently offered some reflection on past years that gives some measure of similarities of our annual complaints. This problem has been going on for much longer than a few years, of course, but it is nice to have some perspective, especially for newcomers to the area.

Regretfully, much as I gave him a lot of grief about his (in my view, often mistaken or narrowly-focused and not altogether convincing application of) statistical methods, I miss a fellow called Priceless who quite often would make some very significant contributions to the discussion as well as spending countless hours marshaling the numbers. He became very frustrated by "Your nose knows why it is bad" plain-spoken folks!

The numbers? I will take a wild guess and say, from several years of observation, that things aren't as bad as they have been in most years but, unfortunately, actually look as though they might get worse than they are now due to forest fires this year. There seem to be more forest fires this year and less cumulative agricultural burning locally and in the general valley, but that evidence is limited to so-so satellite data.

Anyway, get yourself some of those 3M Filtrate sheets for your room air conditioner. Yes, to a point, Filtrate does indeed filter out some PM microparticles. Buy a fancy air filter, if you can afford one. Stay cooped up inside, if you wish, but definitely don't go doing some harsh pulmonary exercise. Or some choose to escape to cleaner air climes.

If escaping is your thing, please consider those who haven't got the money or haven't the personal circumstances to be "Smog Birds," like "Snow Birds" in North America and Europe who flee south in the winter.

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I don't know much about numbers. I do know that I live less than 4 minutes walking time away from Kad Suan Kaew, and this morning, I almost can't see it from my window. It's one thing to not be able to see across the valley to the mountains on the eastern side. It's another not to be able to see across the street. This is some bad air... Time to superglue a good mask to my face!

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I know this sketch was done for the cold winter air back in the USA, but it seems to apply here right now. Air up in Mae Taeng is downright chunky this morning. Filtrete inside the house seems to be helping when compared to how the air tastes outside.

post-498-0-79208100-1395103663_thumb.jpg

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Me and family are suppose to fly in on April 1for a 4 day visit. I'm very concern about our health. Sadly this is my only chance away from work to see Cnx for the first time. Booked flights and hotel Feb. Should I consider canceling/postponing if possible? Or its not that bad, and can still enjoy it without getting sick?

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Me and family are suppose to fly in on April 1for a 4 day visit. I'm very concern about our health. Sadly this is my only chance away from work to see Cnx for the first time. Booked flights and hotel Feb. Should I consider canceling/postponing if possible? Or its not that bad, and can still enjoy it without getting sick?

Rendos, that is a tough call. We usually head to the sea to avoid this smoke, but this year we stayed here. Usually, a few days after we leave the smoke clears up. There is just no way to predict if the weather will change before 1 April.

Some people handle the smoke quite well where others are very affected by it. I start coughing if I go outside and my eyes sting fairly easily from it. I can't imagine coming here voluntarily when it is like this, but many do with no complaints. Our visibility at the moment is just a bit over a kilometer, so better than two years ago when we could not see a tree 300 meters away. The worst may be yet to come, or we might get rain (none forecast though) and it will clear up.

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Me and family are suppose to fly in on April 1for a 4 day visit. I'm very concern about our health. Sadly this is my only chance away from work to see Cnx for the first time. Booked flights and hotel Feb. Should I consider canceling/postponing if possible? Or its not that bad, and can still enjoy it without getting sick?

You have a fair chance of things being much better in early April. However, if you are also visiting other parts of Thailand (outside of the North), then do those first. The longer you wait, the better the air gets based on what happened in past years. (Most years it clears up by the first or second week of April, though it did start quite late this year.)

Personally I would stay as flexible as possible, and check again early April. If daily average PM-10 values are below 100 I'd go. (Personal choice)

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Me and family are suppose to fly in on April 1for a 4 day visit. I'm very concern about our health. Sadly this is my only chance away from work to see Cnx for the first time. Booked flights and hotel Feb. Should I consider canceling/postponing if possible? Or its not that bad, and can still enjoy it without getting sick?

You have a fair chance of things being much better in early April. However, if you are also visiting other parts of Thailand (outside of the North), then do those first. The longer you wait, the better the air gets based on what happened in past years. (Most years it clears up by the first or second week of April, though it did start quite late this year.)

Personally I would stay as flexible as possible, and check again early April. If daily average PM-10 values are below 100 I'd go. (Personal choice)

Thanks for the replies. Perhaps I can ask you again how the situation is around near the end of next week.

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Are you guys wearing N95/P95 masks when outside? I find it quite shocking that I almost never see anyone else wearing a mask other than me. Some locals wear surgical masks but they do not filter out air pollution, I suspect very poor environmental pollution awareness is the cause of that problem. PM10 count right now is 108 and the PM2.5 count is ~240. The safe exposure is 40 for PM10 and 25 for PM2.5...

The air quality in Chiang Mai at the time of this post is the worst in south east Asia and is worse than most of China, including Beijing. I came here thinking I would stay three months but due to the very poor air quality I will fly out in a few days and go to Borneo instead.

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The air quality in Chiang Mai at the time of this post is the worst in south east Asia and is worse than most of China, including Beijing. I came here thinking I would stay three months but due to the very poor air quality I will fly out in a few days and go to Borneo instead.

No argument with you going to Borneo, but let me quickly change into my alter-ego of Captain Accuracy.

Thanks for waiting.

You write: The air quality in Chiang Mai at the time of this post is the worst in south east Asia and is worse than most of China, including Beijing.

That is of course not the case. Not even close. Please don't just make stuff up if you're joining a discussion. The situation is bad enough without people grabbing stuff out of their behinds.

Beijing values are close to double the Chiang Mai values. And within China, Beijing isn't close to the worst. It's important to note that measuring stations in South East Asia are few and far between, but for example Hanoi in Northern Vietnam is also considerably worse than Northern Thailand.

When doing comparisons between countries a good source is the Chinese Aqicn site. ( http://aqicn.org/city/thailand/chiangmai/yupparaj-wittayalai-school/ ) Note that they calculate differently so you can't easily compare from that site to others, but within that site you get a good indication of Northern Thailand versus India and China.

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The air quality in Chiang Mai at the time of this post is the worst in south east Asia and is worse than most of China, including Beijing. I came here thinking I would stay three months but due to the very poor air quality I will fly out in a few days and go to Borneo instead.

No argument with you going to Borneo, but let me quickly change into my alter-ego of Captain Accuracy.

Thanks for waiting.

You write: The air quality in Chiang Mai at the time of this post is the worst in south east Asia and is worse than most of China, including Beijing.

That is of course not the case. Not even close. Please don't just make stuff up if you're joining a discussion. The situation is bad enough without people grabbing stuff out of their behinds.

Beijing values are close to double the Chiang Mai values. And within China, Beijing isn't close to the worst. It's important to note that measuring stations in South East Asia are few and far between, but for example Hanoi in Northern Vietnam is also considerably worse than Northern Thailand.

When doing comparisons between countries a good source is the Chinese Aqicn site. ( http://aqicn.org/city/thailand/chiangmai/yupparaj-wittayalai-school/ ) Note that they calculate differently so you can't easily compare from that site to others, but within that site you get a good indication of Northern Thailand versus India and China.

Based on your website Chiang Mai is the worst in SE Asia (see my screenshot). Hanoi is slightly higher but they base their figure on PM2.5 there, not PM10 as in Chiang Mai. When I compared to Beijing, I meant the PM10 count as it is hard to get a clear figure for PM2.5 in Chiang Mai. On most days it is around 100 with some days much higher but also some days much lower. Chiang Mai on the other hand seems to be consistently around 100 these days and there has been no "clean" day since I got here. I don't want to start an argument about pollution here and I apologise if my post came across as rude, I am simply frustrated these days to be stuck inside and not being able to enjoy the place because of some stupid medieval farmers and the lack of action by the local government.

post-204849-0-31114200-1395129437_thumb.

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The air quality in Chiang Mai at the time of this post is the worst in south east Asia and is worse than most of China, including Beijing. I came here thinking I would stay three months but due to the very poor air quality I will fly out in a few days and go to Borneo instead.

No argument with you going to Borneo, but let me quickly change into my alter-ego of Captain Accuracy.

Thanks for waiting.

You write: The air quality in Chiang Mai at the time of this post is the worst in south east Asia and is worse than most of China, including Beijing.

That is of course not the case. Not even close. Please don't just make stuff up if you're joining a discussion. The situation is bad enough without people grabbing stuff out of their behinds.

Beijing values are close to double the Chiang Mai values. And within China, Beijing isn't close to the worst. It's important to note that measuring stations in South East Asia are few and far between, but for example Hanoi in Northern Vietnam is also considerably worse than Northern Thailand.

When doing comparisons between countries a good source is the Chinese Aqicn site. ( http://aqicn.org/city/thailand/chiangmai/yupparaj-wittayalai-school/ ) Note that they calculate differently so you can't easily compare from that site to others, but within that site you get a good indication of Northern Thailand versus India and China.

Interesting site, Winnie, thanks for sharing. It does put things in perspective. I thought we had it bad in Chiang Mai, but China is outrageous. Whether Beijing, or Shanghai, it's pretty nasty. And some of the other places in China is off the charts. Was surprised that some parts of Japan were worse than CM.

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The air quality in Chiang Mai at the time of this post is the worst in south east Asia and is worse than most of China, including Beijing. I came here thinking I would stay three months but due to the very poor air quality I will fly out in a few days and go to Borneo instead.

No argument with you going to Borneo, but let me quickly change into my alter-ego of Captain Accuracy.

Thanks for waiting.

You write: The air quality in Chiang Mai at the time of this post is the worst in south east Asia and is worse than most of China, including Beijing.

That is of course not the case. Not even close. Please don't just make stuff up if you're joining a discussion. The situation is bad enough without people grabbing stuff out of their behinds.

Beijing values are close to double the Chiang Mai values. And within China, Beijing isn't close to the worst. It's important to note that measuring stations in South East Asia are few and far between, but for example Hanoi in Northern Vietnam is also considerably worse than Northern Thailand.

When doing comparisons between countries a good source is the Chinese Aqicn site. ( http://aqicn.org/city/thailand/chiangmai/yupparaj-wittayalai-school/ ) Note that they calculate differently so you can't easily compare from that site to others, but within that site you get a good indication of Northern Thailand versus India and China.

Interesting site, Winnie, thanks for sharing. It does put things in perspective. I thought we had it bad in Chiang Mai, but China is outrageous. Whether Beijing, or Shanghai, it's pretty nasty. And some of the other places in China is off the charts. Was surprised that some parts of Japan were worse than CM.

Don't forget that most countries provide PM2.5 counts but Thailand only provides PM10. That is why CM appears much lower than China/Korea/Japan... If PM2.5 were counted here the number would be much higher.

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