Haze is a problem in Northern Thailand… again

This is unfortunately almost a tradition, in March and April, the cities of the top north of Thailand and sometimes in Isan are hit by haze with smoke and particles. This pollution is not industrial or due to cars but it comes from agriculture.

Chiang Mai pollution
Picture taken in Chiang Mai (ThaiPBS)

Despite a formal ban, Thai farmers at this time of the year often burn their fields and multiplied by the number of their lands, these haze creates a significant pollution dangerous for public health.

Fragil people and the ones having breathing difficulties are particularly exposed. It is a plague that lasts for years and the authorities have never been able to stop it.

The Air Quality Index (AQI) considers that the air is good between 0 and 50 AQI and beyond unusually sensitive individuals may experience respiratory symptoms and that the is unhealthy if AQI is more than 100. Beyond this limit, active children and adults, and people with respiratory disease, such as asthma, should limit prolonged outdoor exertion (see AQI thresholds)

Right now we have: Chiang Mai (110 AQI), Chiang Rai (122 AQI), Lampang, Nan (156 AQI) and Mae Hong Son (148 AQI) (and probably Pai). And also Ayutthaya (104 AQi) and Mae Sot (102 AQI) (datas from Air4Thai)

The army is mobilized and as always, the authorities promise to prosecute farmers triggering these burnings but as always, it won’t stop the problem.

We advise you to download Air4Thai, an application that gives you the pollution levels in Thai cities  (IPhone / Android ). To see if where you are planning to there will be haze and possibly change your plans.

Mike Thailandee

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