Wanchai Chanlao from the Pollution Control Department and independent volunteer academics from The Phuket Warning Friends Network gathered in Talat Yai yesterday (Apr 15) to take official readings via the Air4thai app.
The readings revealed small particles less than 10 microns (PM10) measured at 41 micrograms per cubic metre resulting in moderate quality which can affect the health of at-risk people, including children, the elderly, pregnant women and patients with respiratory diseases.
Mr Wanchai urged people consider minimising activities in areas particularly affected by the smog and to wear a facemask or cloth to cover the nose when necessary. Such warm conditions posed serious health threats including heat stroke, he added.
Mr Wanchai commented that the poor air quality meant visibility was reduced significantly and making out the coastline or sea from elevated viewpoints across the island was problematic. He added that tourists still continued to gather at popular spots to take photographs of the scenery although only a few were wearing facemasks.
The cause of the smog was largely due to low-pressure heat cover that had increased temperature readings in certain areas to 50 degrees celsius, a sizeable increase from the 40-41°C in previous days
According to forecasts from the Thai Meteorological Department the heat wave and resulting smoggy conditions are likely to last another week.
Warnings were issued to at-risk groups to be mindful and watch out for their health. Anyone experiencing a persistent cough, difficulty breathing, tightness of or chest pain, irregular heartbeat, nausea, lethargy more than usual, headaches or eye irritation should reduce their time spent outside and should consult a doctor.
Protective hygienic facemasks and cover for the nose when leaving the house were also recommended.
JohnC | 17 April 2023 - 09:16:14