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News Forum - Chiang Mai ranks as most polluted city in the world for 9 days running


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Northern Thailand continues to battle a thick layer of smog with Chiang Mai being ranked as the world’s most polluted city by PM2.5 rating for nine days in a row, according to the IQAir website, reports ThaiRath. The highest air quality index (AQI) value was found at the Health Hospital in Ban Khai Hospital in …

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Nonsense.  The sampling is only of 90 cities worldwide and it's smoke, not industrial pollution.  Other cities in Thailand ranked far higher for smoke from forest fires whilst cities in India and Bangladesh had high industrial pollution.

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There is an very interesting interview with Khun Weenarin Lulitanonda in the German Magazin "Der Spiegel."

She is the founder of the citizens' initiative:Thailand Clean Air Network. 

 

 

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Chiang Mai being ranked as the world’s most polluted city by PM2.5 rating for nine days in a row, according to the IQAir website

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Quote

The highest air quality index (AQI) value was found at the Health Hospital in Ban Khai Hospital in Mae Na Wang subdistrict, Mae Ai district, Chiang Mai province, measuring at a hazardous 411 μg/m3.

As one can see from the map, Mai Ai is ~170 kms from Chiang Mai city.  These news stories are misleading.

Mae Ai is nestled between Burma and Chiang Rai, surrounded with burning forests.  The worst smoke was in fact at Mae Sai, slightly further to the north west where PM 2.5 exceeded 500ppm.

After ~ 5 months of NO rain and high temps the fires this year are the worst in decades.  Smoke settles in valleys overnight and rises again mid morning with convection therefore an early morning reading may be extremely high compared with 2 or 3 hours later.

Visibility at 0600 this morning = 7km

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50 minutes ago, KaptainRob said:

Nonsense.  The sampling is only of 90 cities worldwide and it's smoke, not industrial pollution.  Other cities in Thailand ranked far higher for smoke from forest fires whilst cities in India and Bangladesh had high industrial pollution.

I think you do not live around these places ? You would speak differently it is extremely dirty air you notice it in your eyes and throat. And saying it is not a disaster zone in mae Sai they protested for not having clean air and asking only they speak with Burma etc to stop the fires, seems after all this time they never made that phone call .. insane it is a disaster zone, dirty smog

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2 hours ago, Freedomforlife said:

I think you do not live around these places ? You would speak differently it is extremely dirty air you notice it in your eyes and throat. 

You obviously don't follow the forum very closely.  I live in Chiang Mai city and fully understand this annual phenomena, it's causes and effects. 

2 hours ago, Freedomforlife said:

And saying it is not a disaster zone in mae Sai they protested for not having clean air and asking only they speak with Burma etc to stop the fires, seems after all this time they never made that phone call .. insane it is a disaster zone, dirty smog

You make absolutely no sense with those statements.  Please explain?

FYI the AQ in Chiang Rai remains the highest in Thailand.

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1 hour ago, Freedomforlife said:

I think you do not live around these places ? You would speak differently it is extremely dirty air you notice it in your eyes and throat. And saying it is not a disaster zone in mae Sai they protested for not having clean air and asking only they speak with Burma etc to stop the fires, seems after all this time they never made that phone call .. insane it is a disaster zone, dirty smog

No, that is the defense of someone living in one of the burning hotspots of Thailand! ;-)

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2 hours ago, KaptainRob said:

FYI the AQ in Chiang Rai is remains the highest in Thailand.

Don’t say rob is using substandard data?

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Year in Year out, this is a repetitive phenomenon in Northern Thailand. Every year people and the news media will make some noise here and there. Eventually it would go back to Square one. Nothing changes

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16 minutes ago, AdvocatusDiaboli said:

Don’t say rob is using substandard data?

I use the same data as everyone has available except I do not cherry-pick and misinform like we see in the news.

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11 minutes ago, Ramanathan.P said:

Year in Year out, this is a repetitive phenomenon in Northern Thailand. Every year people and the news media will make some noise here and there. Eventually it would go back to Square one. Nothing changes

Correct.  5 months of no rain, tinder-dry forests across Burma, Thailand and Laos + a benign weather pattern which traps smoke in the hills and valleys ... it was always going to be a bad season given the previous wet starts and uncontrolled scrub growth.  Certainly the worst smoky season I've seen.,

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5 hours ago, KaptainRob said:

and it's smoke, not industrial pollution. 

Not true.  It is driven by the air quality index and the key driver of this is normally PM2.5, regardless of where the PM2.5 come from

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5 minutes ago, MPK said:

Not true.  It is driven by the air quality index and the key driver of this is normally PM2.5, regardless of where the PM2.5 come from

Sorry mate, that's a bullshit response. 

I said "not industrial pollution". 

The AQI does NOT measure nano-particles, therefore it is not recording the difference between seriously harmful/cancer-causing industrial pollutants compared with organic smoke.

Yes PM2.5 can be unhealthy, but 'industrial pollution' it is NOT.  

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10 minutes ago, KaptainRob said:

The AQI does NOT measure nano-particles, therefore it is not recording the difference between seriously harmful/cancer-causing industrial pollutants compared with organic smoke.

You misunderstand how the AQI is calculated.  PM2.5 goes into the AQI and is normally actually the key driving variable

https://www.airnow.gov/sites/default/files/2020-05/aqi-technical-assistance-document-sept2018.pdf

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5 hours ago, KaptainRob said:

Nonsense.  The sampling is only of 90 cities worldwide and it's smoke, not industrial pollution.  Other cities in Thailand ranked far higher for smoke from forest fires whilst cities in India and Bangladesh had high industrial pollution.

does the official ranking really matter? bottom line is CM is heavily polluted.

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2 hours ago, KaptainRob said:

I use the same data as everyone has available except I do not cherry-pick

Though there is a difference of where this information is collected and collated from. As the unknown factor of device used, and installation etc. Site I use does not sell its own products and simply reports this information. 

http://aqicn.org/

This site shows who also installed the monitor etc.  

‘But then let’s not nitpick and go Down the rabbit hole. Let’s just agree that we are all waiting for the Thai Government to enact and vote in the clean air act. Maybe it will be voted in after the Cannabis act is voted in.

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28 minutes ago, Saunk said:

does the official ranking really matter? bottom line is CM is heavily polluted.

Exactly. Whether or not somewhere in Pakistan or India worse is little consolation to  people gasping for air.  The fact is that the air quality is very poor and much it is human  made. Driving into Bangkok today, I was shocked to see a large field burnoff. The smoke was very heavy and noticeable. Never seen that before. A couple days ago in Hua Hin, the hills behind the army NCO training school were covered with deep smoke from burning. It's as if  the country is over run by pyromaniacs.

I will never go back to Chiang Rai or Chiang Mai at this time of year. 5 years ago, I was visiting and a few days later left stinking of smoke, coughing up dirty sputum, with painful eyes and black nasal mucous (although thay might have been from Chiang Mai's heavy traffic.) This burning is a tourism killer. No one wants to visit a fire pit for a holiday.

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It does not matter if Chaing Mai it is number one in the world or number one thousand in the smoke rankings.

I know people who have been living in Chiang Mai for decades, one normally does a 50k bike ride each morning, until January arrives and the 'smoke season' is back again, then it becomes impossible.

He and a number of other people have to leave Chiang Mai due to the smoke, one goes to stay in  Hua Hin for three or four months until the air is clear again and the others return to their home countries until the 'smoke season' is over.

I remember decades ago when Thais from Bangkok would talk of retiring to Chiang Mai where the mountain air is clear and fresh and the mornings cool, I doubt if many want to retire there now.

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, JamesR said:

one goes to stay in  Hua Hin for three or four months until the air is clear again and the others return to their home countries until the 'smoke season' is over.

... and Hua Hin unfortunately gets more and more affected by bad air as well.  Not as bad as the North, but the times where you could trust to have clean air in Hua Hin are unfortunately over

Edited by MPK
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3 minutes ago, MPK said:

... and Hua Hin unfortunately gets more and more affected by bad air as well.  Not as bad as the North, but the times where you could trust to have clean air in Hua Hin are unfortunately over

I was in Hua Hin from the 23rd to the 27th of March this year and the air seems OK to me.

The friend who stays there for three to four months has never complained about the air in HH but then again he is on the border between HH and Cha Am so maybe that makes a difference?

He also lives two minutes walk from the sea so maybe that helps too?

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12 minutes ago, JamesR said:

was in Hua Hin from the 23rd to the 27th of March this year and the air seems OK to me.

The friend who stays there for three to four months has never complained about the air in HH but then again he is on the border between HH and Cha Am so maybe that makes a difference?

He also lives two minutes walk from the sea so maybe that helps too?

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You picked the right time...

 

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30 minutes ago, JamesR said:

It does not matter if Chaing Mai it is number one in the world or number one thousand in the smoke rankings.

I know people who have been living in Chiang Mai for decades, one normally does a 50k bike ride each morning, until January arrives and the 'smoke season' is back again, then it becomes impossible.

He and a number of other people have to leave Chiang Mai due to the smoke, one goes to stay in  Hua Hin for three or four months until the air is clear again and the others return to their home countries until the 'smoke season' is over.

I remember decades ago when Thais from Bangkok would talk of retiring to Chiang Mai where the mountain air is clear and fresh and the mornings cool, I doubt if many want to retire there now.

Unfortunately, the majority of locals don’t have that luxury. 

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1 hour ago, Khunmark said:

Unfortunately, the majority of locals don’t have that luxury. 

True, but the majority of Thais who were planning to retire there have now chosen not to live there, well the ones I know that is. 

I bet house prices are even cheaper than they were previously, people must be giving them away. 

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1 hour ago, JamesR said:

True, but the majority of Thais who were planning to retire there have now chosen not to live there, well the ones I know that is. 

I bet house prices are even cheaper than they were previously, people must be giving them away. 

I don't think thats the case but if it were I would buy then

 

I am sure at some point, it will be figured out, it has been highlighted more and more

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