Bangkok’s air slightly less polluted for third consecutive year

Photo: Teirra Kamolvattanavith/ Coconuts Media
Photo: Teirra Kamolvattanavith/ Coconuts Media

Although Bangkok is suffering unhealthy air pollution today, conditions so far in 2023 have improved for a third year in a row.

Five areas in the capital have measured amounts of dangerous PM2.5 particulate pollution above acceptable levels, according to the capital’s air quality center. But the first 18 days of the year have, on average, seen a reduction in pollution.

Bangkok has averaged about 76 on the air quality index since New Year’s Day, according to data collected daily by Coconuts for the past three years. That number was 89 for the same period in 2022, 99.75 in 2021, and a very unhealthy 148 in 2020, which explains why we started collecting the data.

Not to say this is good: Anything above 50 on the index is considered moderately unhealthy.

And PM2.5 levels are currently 3.4 times what the WHO deems acceptable. The areas recording PM2.5 above the city’s standard of 50 micrograms per cubic meter today were located on the western outskirts in the Thawi Watthana, Nong Khaem, and Bang Khun Thian districts,, and the southeastern district of Prawet district.

Most other parts of metropolitan Bangkok were at a moderate level.

Air pollution in Bangkok tends to run high September through April, peaking around January. Air pollution recorded in the capital has fallen for the past three years, from a rough daily average of 72.7 in 2020, 63.6 in 2021, and 59.6 in 2022.

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