Air pollution is a much talked about issue in Chiang Mai. At certain times of the year the air quality rises to hazardous levels and many call for action. Unfortunately, when the rain finally comes and the levels drop this momentum is lost and the authorities feel less pressured to do something about it.
For the latest air pollution level updates from across Thailand please visit the Pollution Control Department (PCD) website which is usually updated daily.
Air Pollution: Key facts from the World Health Organization
- Air pollution is a major environmental risk to health and is estimated to cause approximately 2 million premature deaths worldwide per year.
- Exposure to air pollutants is largely beyond the control of individuals and requires action by public authorities at the national, regional and even international levels.
- The WHO Air quality guidelines represent the most widely agreed and up-to-date assessment of health effects of air pollution, recommending targets for air quality at which the health risks are significantly reduced.
- By reducing particulate matter (PM10) pollution from 70 to 20 micrograms per cubic metre, we can cut air quality related deaths by around 15%.
- By reducing air pollution levels, we can help countries reduce the global burden of disease from respiratory infections, heart disease, and lung cancer.
- The WHO guidelines provide interim targets for countries that still have very high levels of air pollution to encourage the gradual cutting down of emissions. These interim targets are: a maximum of three days a year with up to 150 micrograms of PM10 per cubic metre (for short term peaks of air pollution), and 70 micrograms per cubic metre for long term exposures to PM10.
- More than half of the burden from air pollution on human health is borne by people in developing countries. In many cities, the average annual levels of PM10(the main source of which is the burning of fossil fuels) exceed 70 micrograms per cubic metre. The guidelines say that, to prevent ill health, those levels should be lower than 20 micrograms per cubic metre.
Find out more:
- World Health Organization – Air Quality & Health
- World Health Organization – Air quality Guidelines – Global Update 2005
You can help
This voluntarily run website is lucky enough to receive a good number of visitors everyday, each of whom cares for Chiang Mai and is concerned for it’s welfare, especially when it comes to the rise in air pollution levels. We each have different skills and experience that enable us to suggest real ways to improve the situation.
We’d like to call on all of you now to get your thoughts on air quality in Chiang Mai:
- What do you think should be done?
- What measures should be put in place?
- What should local and national government be doing?
- How should local communities help?
- What can the expat community do to help?
- As a growing Chiang Mai community ourselves, what can we/should we do to help?
Please go to our forum now, take part in the discussion and lets work together to make a difference:
Forum Post: Air Pollution: What can we do about it?