Thick PM2.5 smog engulfs Bangkok and surrounding areas

Photo: CCS News
Photo: CCS News

That’s not fog, but a persistent poisonous air full of PM2.5 dust particles engulfing several areas in Bangkok this morning.

The Pollution Control Department issued a concerning update on the PM2.5 situation in metropolitan Bangkok and surrounding areas, revealing alarming particle concentrations exceeding the safe standard. During the past 24 hours, readings ranged from 31.5 micrograms per cubic meter of air to a shocking peak of 75.4 micrograms, significantly surpassing the 37.5 standard. This alarming level propelled Bangkok into the red level, indicating a serious health impact. A total of 66 areas are now choking under the weight of what many call “toxic dust”.

The highest levels were recorded in two particularly concerning locations: Pak Nam sub-district of Samut Prakan (75.7 micrograms), and on Ma Charoen Phet Kasem 81 Road in Nong Khaem district (72.3 micrograms). Within Bangkok itself, the situation is uniformly dire, with PM2.5 reaching the red level in all areas. The most impacted areas include Bangkok Yai, Thon Buri, Khlong San, Lak Si, Don Mueang, Bangkok Noi, Phasi Charoen and Phra Nakhon.

#ToxicDust trended to the top of Thai Twitter, with many taking photos of photos and videos of commuters traveling through a thick dense smog.

On the Suvinvong road along the Khlong Chao bridge, a dusty fog can be seen obscuring visibility as commuters drive through. 

@Phee_nr tweeted a video from a high-rise view showing Bangkok’s Pattanakarn Road to be covered in smog. “This is not fog anymore, this is PM2.5, toxic dust. Very scary,” he tweeted.

A photo of the Theparak road in Bangna-Trat in Samut Prakan province has gone viral, with the image resembling a scene out of the horror video game Silent Hill.

The medical services department is urging parents to refrain from taking children to school due to the excess amount of hazardous particles in Bangkok. They also advised the public to wear N95 masks outdoors, and use air purifiers at home.

The regular occurrence of toxic smog in Bangkok has long been blamed on carbon emissions from factories and vehicles. 

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