United Kingdom launches ambitious plan to tackle air pollution

17 January, 2019, 07:15 | Author: Sherry Houston
  • Ban on dirty household fire fuels to tackle air pollution

While the air quality has deteriorated to harmful levels over the past three days, Witsanu Attavanich, associate professor of economics at Kasetsart University said the situation was likely to remain at critical levels for no less than another month due to weather patterns and limited wind.

BANGKOK is facing an air pollution crisis that has choked the capital since late past year, with academicians warning of serious impact on public health and a threat to the economy.

Visibility has been reduced to one kilometre is some areas.

As of Monday morning, the worldwide Air Quality Index's average ranking for the capital was 183, or "unhealthy", though some areas such as Saphan Khwai and Lat Yao as of 10am were ranked at "hazardous" levels of 370 and 403, respectively.

Reasons for the persistent smog include combustion exhaust from traffic-strewn roads, the burning of fields by farmers outside the city, and pollutants from factories.

Asked about government plans to improve air quality while on a visit to Chiang Mai, Prayuth said the government alone can not solve the smog problem because "everyone has contributed to" it.

The government has launched an ambitious new strategy to clean up our air - which includes a commitment to support farmers' efforts to tackle air pollution.

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"People should not just wear facemasks when they go outside during periods of bad air quality, but they should also create their own safe zones at their home and their workplace by installing air purifiers to clean the air indoor", he noted.

The Thaiger publishes national air quality readings daily.

In recent weeks, municipal workers have sprayed water on the roads and into the air in Bangkok to help clear the smog.

The government's agencies have taken urgent measures such as controls on construction sites and strict inspection of polluting vehicles, according to Puttipong Punnakanta, the government's spokesman.

Breathing dirty air is associated with a host of health problems, from asthma to cardiovascular disease and lung cancer, and all too often it is the most vulnerable - children, older people and those from poorer backgrounds - who are hit hardest.

"We have made strides forward over the past few years and the action we are taking today will save lives and improve the health of the nation - both for those of us here today and for generations to come".

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