Academics in Thailand have held a forum to share their ideas and knowledge on ways to address the toxic dust problem in Thailand. The outcomes from the discussions will be presented to the government to aid in policy development.
The President of the Council of Engineering, Prof. Dr. Suchatvee Suwansawat, said the PM2.5 dust issue has affected people’s health as well as the tourism industry. Even more with Bangkok ranked in the world’s top 10 cities with the worst air quality. At the forum, all sides gathered to identify the sources of PM2.5 fine particles. Furthermore to propose concrete measures to solve the PM2.5 dust problem. Also how to improve the quality of life in a sustainable way and spur the domestic economy.
PM2.5 Dust from Transport Sector
The Secretary-General of the Council of Engineering, Dr. Prasert Tapaneeyangkul, said 74% of air pollution is from the transport sector. Particularly large vehicles emitting black smoke. To address the problem more effectively, it is necessary for the government to upgrade vehicle fuel standards. Above all from Euro 4 to Euro 5 and 6, while adjusting the safety level of particulate matter of 2.5 microns or less (PM2.5), from 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air to 25 micrograms per cubic meter. Which is in line with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) air quality guidelines.
The Head of the Climate Change Data Center Chiang Mai University, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sate Sampattagul, said people in Chiang Mai province are exposed to 300 to 400 micrograms per cubic meter of PM2.5 on some days. Even more people health has been affected due to PM2.5 dust levels.
Also due to the province’s mountainous terrain, together with the open burning problem, the government should decentralize state power. Above all so that local administrations can address specific issues in each area. Farmers can contribute by making adjustments to their work to solve the problem in a sustainable way.