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People living in the Metro Bangkok area and surrounding provinces have been advised to prepare for PM2.5 dust pollution. Dangerous PM2.5 dust pollution will last from the end of October until February.
Thailand’s Pollution Control Department said Monday that, during this period, PM2.5 dust pollution will accumulate overnight due to stale air and the wind for circulation.
The Meteorological Department, predicts a weak to moderate cold air front from the Himalayas is expected to cover Thailand’s northern and north-eastern regions through to January.
According to Thai PBS, the cold front will gain strength in January and February when the atmospheric high pressure will weaken.
During this period when the cold front is weakening, especially in January and February, there is a high possibility that PM2.5 dust pollution in the atmosphere will exceed safety levels.
PM2.5 dust pollution and diesel vehicles
Thailand’s Pollution Control Department reports it has rolled out measures to cope with the problem. These measures have been approved by a subcommittee tasked with tackling PM2.5 dust pollution.
Since emissions from vehicles, especially ones using diesel, account for over half of the pollution. The Pollution Control Department has cooperated with the automobile industry to conduct checks on and maintenance of vehicles, which are over seven years old.
This preventive maintenance alone is expected to help reduce emissions by an average of 25%.
Another measure is to seek cooperation from diesel producers by producing low sulphur content in the diesel.
Euro 5-grade diesel, which has a sulphur content of less than 10ppm, can reduce the amount of PM2.5 dust produced by vehicle emissions by about 24%. Compared to the Euro 4-grade which contains about 50ppm of sulphur.
The Pollution Control Department also assured the public that the low sulphur content diesel will not damage vehicle engines.