Plerndow Thongnunui, an environmental health official at the PPHO, told The Phuket News today, “Phuket air quality is still good.”
“People on the island can see the air quality report from Air4Thai, either through its website or application.
“Air4Thai is reliable because it is provided by the Pollution Control Department of Thailand. So please do not worry about the mild haze over Phuket today, the quality is ‘’healthy’,” Ms Plerndow said.
Ms Plerndow’s was unable to explain why the Air Pollution Real-time Air Quality Index (AQI) posted on aqmthai.com provided very different readings.
AQMThai readings are also created from 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.
AQMThai issued a red ‘Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups’ notice with a PM2.5 reading of 149 at Chalong Circle at 8am today.
It also issued an orange ‘Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups’ notice for both Patong Beach with a PM2.5 reading of 119 at at 8:43am, and for Saphan Hin with a PM2.5 reading of 114 also at 8:43am.
AQMThai also reported a PM2.5 reading of 95 for the Municipal Health Center 1 in Phuket Town at 8am.
The Air4Thai web portal, however, gave a healthy ‘green’ reading of just 37 at 8am today.
“Please ignore this reading from this website. It is not reliable,” Ms Plerndow said.
Asked specifically why the AQMThai readings, also issued by the Pollution Control Department, were to be ignored, Ms Plerndow was silent.
“Please use Air4Thai only, because there is an update every hour from Thailand’s Pollution Control Department,” was all she would say.
“The air quality is still at a good level and we can handle the situation,” Ms Plerndow assured.
“If the air pollution gets worse, there will definitely be a caution issued. We do advise people to wear a mask to protect themselves from the pollution, and the pollution clinic [sic] will open at Vachira Hospital when the forecast from Air4Thai remains at a high of 76 for three consecutive days,” she noted.