Smog over Bangkok on Jan. 10, 2019. Photo: Gusgust1993 / Twitter
Smog over Bangkok on Jan. 10, 2019. Photo: Gusgust1993 / Twitter

BANGKOK — PM2.5 levels are skyrocketing in Bangkok for the third consecutive day Friday according to multiple air monitors, shrouding the capital with multiple potential health hazards.

Residents in Bangkok, Samut Prakan, and Pathum Thani are breathing in air levels ranging from unhealthy to hazardous Friday, according to both independent and government air monitoring services.

AirVisual recorded air quality at 156 AQI while the World Air Quality Index Project Team recorded an average of 163 AQI, both unhealthy levels, while some areas reached as high as 221 AQI (“very unhealthy”).

The City Hall’s air quality unit measured lower PM 2.5 levels than these two, ranging from 53 to 115 AQI. However, the government did declare that nearly all of the Bangkok districts have unhealthy air levels. The affected districts are Bang Khun Thian, Phra Nakhon, Phasi Charoen, Bangkok Noi, Khlong San, Bang Kho Laem, and Yan Nawa districts.


The only three districts with average PM 2.5 levels are Don Mueang, Khan Na Yao, and Minburi.

AirVisual recommended that people avoid outdoor exercise, close windows, wear masks outdoors, and use an air purifier. World Air Quality forecast that air quality would get even worse over the weekend.

In a Friday tweet, Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-ocha said that cars with black smoke would be put on a watchlist, and they would be subject to tougher inspection when they renew their license.

Saturday through Thursday, government health officials will also send out mobile health clinics in the Phasi Charoen in western Bangkok, one of the Bangkok districts with the worst air quality, according to government stats. 

Thailand’s PM 2.5 crisis, which appears to be escalating in recent years, seems to have no end in sight. Government solutions typically involve spraying water into the air at affected areas and pledging tougher punishment for vehicles or buildings that contribute to pollution.

As usual, residents frustrated with the smog are airing their anger through the only venue of recourse they could find: popular hashtags like #PM25, #PM25Dust, and #BangkokDust.

@9Grumble grumbles about Bangkok smog.

@SrShare said she had to go to the doctor because of bronchitis from breathing in too much PM 2.5.

@Thiraphanv says she measured a frightening PM2.5 level of 289 in front of BTS Sena Nikhom.


@Ninewritz showed off the dust collected on her mask travelling from Fashion Island mall to Rama IX area.

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