BANGKOK – The city of Bangkok ranks 13th among Asian cities for its level of cancer-causing substances in the air, according to the National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA).
NIDA said the level of carcinogenic dust pollution in the capital is more than twice above the standard acceptable level with the vicinity of the Din Daeng housing estate, Chokechai 4 Police Station and Thonburi Electricity Substation having the highest risks.
Siwat Pongpiachan, NIDA Centre for Research and Development of Disaster Prevention and Management (DPM) director, said researchers collected dust samples smaller than 10 microns (PM10) from the Pollution Control Department.
The department has seven air quality monitoring stations in Bangkok including the Klongchan housing estate, Nonsee Vithaya School, Singharat Pittayakom, Thonburi Electricity Substation, Chokechai 4 Police Station, Din Daeng housing estate and Bodin Decha School. The samples were compiled between 2006 and 2009.
China’s Baoji and Beijing are Asia’s two highest risk cities with carcinogenic dust at 98 and 33 times higher than the acceptable level respectively.
At Din Daeng housing estate, the dust level was measured at 990 picogrammes/cubic metre or 3.96 times higher than standard, followed by Chokechai 4 Police Station at 704 picogrammes/ cubic metre or 2.8 times higher than standard, and Thonburi Substation at 603 picogrammes/ cubic metre or 2.4 times higher than standard.
The air quality at Nonsee Vithaya School was measured at 292 picogrammes/cubic metre.
He said 80 per cent of the cancerous substance in Bangkok’s air is from car exhaust fumes and the trend has been surging despite anti-pollution campaigns and the use of gasohol.
To reduce pollution levels, Dr Siwat called on the government to urge city residents to commute on mass transport system instead of driving their cars. (MCOT)