BMA takes tougher measures in solving dust problem to ensure good health of Bangkokians

(December 15, 2020) Pol. Capt. Pongsakorn Kwanmuang, BMA Spokesman, revealed the current situation of accumulated fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in Bangkok Metropolitan area that, yesterday (December 14, 2020), the average PM2.5 dust particles level in Bangkok was 60 micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3) and today’s average (December 15, 2020) is 74.6 (μg/m3). Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has been working according to the action plan that was prepared 2 months in advance. The plan categorized measures according to the concentration levels of dust. The measures that have been implemented by the BMA include controlling of construction sites, restriction of outdoor activities at school, outdoor burning, road cleaning, water spraying to reduce the dust, and opening of pollution clinics.

However, as the situation has been aggravated, the BMA takes tougher measures to the 2nd level. This includes law enforcement to restrict the burning in the area by assigning district offices and local police to collaborate and have site visit in order to tighten inspection and implementation of the measures. Mobile health care units are assigned to provide services to the people living in an area with high level of dust. Regarding the mega construction projects, construction of building, electric railway, or other types of construction that cause dust, as well as land fill work, equipment and materials handling, the owners of the business are contacted and requested to stop the operation, except for the interior decoration which can be carried out until the situation becomes better. As for the BMA’s affiliated schools, district offices together with the schools must work together to determine which schools are in the risk area and unable to provide students with rooms equipped with air purifiers to close schools as deemed appropriate.

The BMA Spokesman added that the BMA has continuously implemented the water spraying measure aimed at reducing dust concentration. The methods used includes water spraying and cleaning of trees to reduce PM2.5 dust coatings on leaves and branches so that the cleaned leaves can capture more dust. Road surfaces are cleaned by water to rinse PM10 dust into the drains, preventing dust from blowing away in the wind. The construction sites are also sprayed with water to reduce the dispersion of PM10 dust and prevent it from turning into PM2.5. Water spraying also carried on around various high-rise buildings in Bangkok to reduce dust level so that people living in those buildings are safe from the health-threatening problem posed by PM2.5 fine dust particles. At any rate, the BMA expedites the public relations activity to provide knowledge to the public on the types of water spraying that will be beneficial for reducing dust level. Moreover, the public will be informed of various steps of measure implementation which will be tightened to ensure good health and safety of the Bangkok residents.