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Bangkok air hits new toxicity threshold

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The amount of PM2.5 dust particles in many parts of Thailand, particularly Greater Bangkok, has exceeded the safety limit of 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air, reaching 200 this morning according to aqicn.org measures.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said after Tuesday’s cabinet meeting that the haze that has shrouded Bangkok and its five surrounding provinces is a pressing problem that cannot be addressed in a short period of time reported the Bangkok Post.

The National Environment Board, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon, has been assigned to consolidate efforts between various agencies to tackle the problem, the premier said.

Spraying water on roads

Urgent measures, including spraying water on roads, have been carried out, which have helped ease the haze to some extent, he said.

“More efforts should be made to spray water from high-rise buildings, such as Baiyoke Tower,” said Gen Prayut.

Government spokesman Buddhipongse Punnakanta said that during the Chinese New Year celebrations next week, concerted efforts will be made to help boost public understanding that the tradition of burning incense, as well as gold and silver papers, during the festivities can also contribute to the haze.

The PCD, meanwhile, is calling on people to refrain from using vehicles that emit black exhaust fumes, avoid outdoor burning and reduce the use of personal cars. People with sensitivities or chronic illness should seek medical attention if they experience anything abnormal. 

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Education

Bangkok closes all schools due to severe air pollution conditions

The whole of Bangkok and its vicinity were found to contain excessive amounts of PM2.5 dust this morning, measured at between 55-90 microns, according to the Pollution Control Department.

Boris Sullivan

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The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has advised the general public to anticipate severe air pollution from now until the end of the month, urging them to take precautionary measures.

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commodities

Thailand struggles to regain world’s largest rice exporter title

In Thailand, a strong baht, Asia’s best performing currency in 2019, has kept away potential buyers who find cheaper markets elsewhere, such as in Vietnam.

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 After losing the number one global rice exporter position for three years, the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives has met with related agencies and rice exporters to find measures to reclaim the top spot.

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Environment

Burning Issue: Climate Fires and Political Flame Wars Rage

For the first time in the survey’s 10-year outlook, the top five global risks in terms of likelihood are all environmental.

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London, United Kingdom, 15 January 2020 –Economic and political polarization will rise this year, as collaboration between world leaders, businesses and policy-makers is needed more than ever to stop severe threats to our climate, environment, public health and technology systems.

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