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Phuket haze health readings spiral, hospitals issue free masks

PHUKET: The Phuket Provincial Health Office (PPHO) has maintained its health warning from the Indonesian fire haze that has blanketed Phuket, but has confirmed that so far it has not received any reports of people being admitted to hospital for breathing difficulties.

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By Tanyaluk Sakoot

Tuesday 6 October 2015, 08:37PM


The air quality in Phuket plunged after nightfall on Tuesday (Oct 6). Image: Pollution Control Department

The air quality in Phuket plunged after nightfall on Tuesday (Oct 6). Image: Pollution Control Department

The news follows the PPHO issuing an advisory on Sunday (Oct 4) urging children, the elderly and any persons with breathing difficulties to stay indoors. (See story here.)

The health warning was reiterated on Monday when air-quality readings reached critical levels (see story here) and today (see story here).

“We receive updates from the Pollution Control Department (PCD), Phuket Office, every day,” PPHO Director Dr Bancha Kakong told The Phuket News today (Oct 6).

“So far the PCD has reported that the levels of sulfur oxide in the haze from the fires has yet to reach dangerous levels here. We have not received any reports of people admitted to hospital for respiratory problems, and the situation is not serious enough to ask schools to close.”

In the meantime, however, government hospitals are handing out free face masks.

“As a precaution, children, the elderly and people with respiratory conditions can receive free Nexcare masks,” Dr Bancha said.

BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET

“Other people should not need masks, but we still urge all people to stay indoors and especially not to exercise outdoors at this time.

“If the situation changes, we will inform the public as soon as possible,” he said.

However, as of 6pm on Tuesday, after The Phuket News spoke with Dr Bancha, the Division of Air Quality Data, under the PCD’s Air Quality and Noise Management Bureau (aqmthai.com) reported that Phuket air-quality had deteriorated.

After recording a PM10 reading of 140 in the early hours of Tuesday, the air had cleared to safe reading 80 by early afternoon.

By nightfall, however, the haze blanketed the island and sent the PM10 spiralling back up to a categorically “Unhealthy” reading of 107. (See here.)

The “Unhealthy” range is described as “Everyone may begin to experience health effects; members of sensitive groups may experience more serious health effects.”

 

 

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Jome | 07 October 2015 - 19:51:29

At least it gives an excuse to think about the issues which are caused by Phuket traffic..cars,motorbikes,trash burning,.......Very happy that all the problems are caused from far away.....it would be a paradise if the bloody others would not spoil it....

christysweet | 07 October 2015 - 16:25:43

Big A  I remember a day or two last year, (which one official reportedly  tried to deny as pollution, calling it humidity,) but not before that, and never a entire week and then a few days of clearing but then another entire week. Nor have I witnessed it at these levels. 

Concerned | 07 October 2015 - 07:16:12

Bad News
When greedy shortsighted humans have finally destroyed nature, 
the source of their wellbeing they will also be extinguished. 
Then hopefully nature will have again a fair chance to claim their territory back.

BigA | 06 October 2015 - 20:55:38

This happen every year,so why all this stupid official comments??

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