The Air Pollution Real-time Air Quality Index (AQI) this morning posted a PM2.5 reading for Phuket of 109.
The reading is posted 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.
PM2.5 readings of 101-150 are marked “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups”.
“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,” the website notes.
However, the Phuket-based environmental officer the Phuket News spoke to today again told people to ignore the readings posted by that portal, https://aqicn.org.
“Do not believe what is seen on the visual website from somewhere else [sic] about Thailands’ air quality,” the officer, who specifically asked not to be named, said.
“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 added.
The officer did not give any explanation of why the air-quality readings for Phuket – both provided by data from the Pollution Control Department, give two very different readings for air quality on the island
The officer supported only the Air4Thai app, which today gives a “Green” reading of 39 – indicating that the air over is all clear.
This is despite the officer admitting that there is a haze over the island.
“The pollution problem is not too dangerous in the South. Mostly, it is worse in the North [of Thailand],” the officer noted obliquely.
“However, all people still need to be careful although the weather is good,” the officer admitted.
“As people can see [for themselves], the pollution on the street, like that from vehicles, is now less because there are fewer people on the island, which makes less pollution,” the officer said.
“If the PM2.5 pollution reaches more than 75 micrograms, the Pollution Control Department will inform people,” the officer said.