Bangkok’s Air Quality back to ‘unhealthy’; gov’t tightens control on diesel vehicles

Twitter: Photo/ @NNLioT
Twitter: Photo/ @NNLioT

We were really hoping we wouldn’t need to talk about this anymore, trust us. But after Bangkok’s air quality returned to “unhealthy” levels again today, we couldn’t just ignore it.

The latest update from the global Air Quality Index (AQI) indicates that our air pollution today is, once again, a health risk for everyone.

At this level, AQI recommends that “active children and adults, and people with respiratory disease, such as asthma, should avoid prolonged outdoor exertion” while everyone else should at least limit it.

Photo: Air Quality Index
Photo: Air Quality Index

Given that one of the major factors contributing to the pollution is the roughly 2.5 million diesel-powered trucks and buses traversing the capitals roads, the government today rolled out plans to take tougher action to monitor their pollution output and control their movement.

The Pollution Control Department (PCD) and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration and related agencies have set up checkpoints to inspect how much black smoke each operating truck and bus produces, reported Thai Post.   

Vehicles that produce more black smoke than the standard amount will be banned from the roads.

Local media is also reporting that trucks with six or more wheels are banned from entering Thailand’s capital between the hours of 5am-10am and 3pm-10pm as of today, though it wasn’t specified how long the ban will last.

Meanwhile, the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority has switched from diesel to B20 oil, a biodiesel made from chemically reacting lipids like vegetable oil, soybean oil, or animal fat.

Efforts to battle the smog by sweeping and hosing down streets continue.

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