The Air Pollution Real-time Air Quality Index (AQI) reported a red ‘Unhealthy’ PM2.5 reading of 151 for the south side of Phuket Town at 10am today.
A warning of ‘Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups’ PM2.5 reading of 122 was reported for the north side of Phuket Town at the same time.
A similar warning of ‘Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups’ was reported for the Nai Harn area late yesterday afternoon.
At 11am today, air quality in Chalong marked a PM2.5 reading 134, also spurring an ‘Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups’ warning.
The readings posted are based on data provided by the Division of Air Quality Data of the Air Quality and Noise Management Bureau, which operates under Thailand’s Pollution Control Department.
Warnings for ‘Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups’ are marked with the advice, “Members of sensitive groups may experience health effects. The general public is not likely to be affected. Active children and adults, and people with respiratory disease, such as asthma, should limit prolonged outdoor exertion.”
Similar readings and warnings have been issued by the Switzerland-based air-quality monitoring centre ‘IQ Air’, which also cites that its reports are based on data from the Pollution Control Department.
The Environment and Pollution Control Office 15 has yet to recognise an deterioration in air quality across Phuket in the past few days.
The PCD has previously repeatedly dismissed reports from outside agencies regarding Phuket’s air quality.
A Phuket-based environmental officer, who specifically asked not to be named, told The Phuket News in 2021, “Do not believe what is seen on the visual website from somewhere else [sic] about Thailand’s air quality.
“For the right information we advise all people, both Thai and foreigners in Thailand, to download the app Air4Thai, which is operated under the Pollution Control Department of Thailand,” the officer said.
However, The Phuket News can confirm a light haze across the island over the past few days, corroborated by people across the island.
The Air4Thai app was launched by the PCD in 2019 following reports by independent air-quality monitoring agencies gaining traction. The agency never said it was to counter reports from outside sources, but the information presented by the app is directly controlled by the PCD.
Air4Thai today gives a “Green” reading for Phuket’s air quality, but does mark an increase in PM2.5 readings in recent days.
Meanwhile, the Phuket PCD office in recent days has also stepped up its announcements for people to avoid any burn-offs.
The good news is that all agencies forecast the air to clear tonight.
DeKaaskopp | 03 February 2023 - 15:12:00