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Warning over dust particles: Bangkok
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  1. #1
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    Nov 2005
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    Warning over dust particles: Bangkok

    Warning over dust particles

    PCD says some people should avoid outdoor activities today.

    More fine-particle dust is expected to blanket Bangkok today (18 Jan) - for the third day running - so children, the elderly and people with respiratory problems should avoid outdoor activities, the Pollution Control Department warned yesterday.

    Dust with particles finer than 10 microns had shrouded many parts of the metropolitan area since early this month, PCD chief Supat Wangwattana said.

    The latest report by the Meteorological Department was that a strong cool air mass from China would cover much of Thailand until today, and cause fine particle dust to gather and exceed standard levels, he said.

    The public were also urged not to undertake activities that could stir up dust in areas with hazy weather. He suggested people refrain from outdoor burning, or maintaining the condition of car engines and to use more public transport.

    Supat also revealed the PCD was winding up efforts to curb pollution in Rayong's Map Ta Phut over the past year. It is due to hand a report on these measures to deputy premier Kosit Panpiemras, who is also president of the National Environ-ment Board.

    Two working teams were set to tackle Map Ta Phut's environmental problems and find links between pollution and illnesses among nearby residents, Supat said. So far their work had generally been regarded as making progress because related agencies and the private sector had joined forces to solve the area's problems.

    Factories releasing sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide gases had been controlled and the amount of such compounds in the atmosphere was now within standard levels, he said.

    However, foul smells from the industrial plants remained a major issue in Rayong, Supat said.

    Residents in Soi Ruam Pattana and Sophon community near the Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate complained of gasoline and burning smells, while residents in the Ban Chang community near the Asia Industrial Estate complained of an acetic acid smell.

    The Pollution Control Department dispatched officials to probe complaints filed by the communities and it was found that the noxious smell at Map Ta Phut came from a plant manufacturing vehicle brake pads, he said.

    Another pressing issue was Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOCs) leaking from factories, Supat said. It was expected the problem would be 100 per cent "solved" in March, so the release of VOCs from industrial plants' chimneys should be within legal limits in three years' time.

    In March, the wastewater management for industrial plants in the area would also be brought within legal standards, Supat said. Ongoing construction of a sewage system in the municipality should also treat half of the wastewater released by the Map Ta Phut community once the system was finished, in three to four years. He said officials would closely follow the water issue to ensure it was within set standards.

    Sutthi Atchasai, from the Eastern People's Network, said his group had filed a lawsuit with the Administrative Court last October over the National Environment Board's refusal to declare the Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate "polluted".

    In December, the Pollution Control Department submitted an objection to the lawsuit. But he said the notice contained contradictory information so the group will ask the court on Monday to interpret the PCD's letter of objection.

    His group also planned to launch a campaign next month to raise awareness that pollution in Rayong could lead to dangers such as diseases that struck Japan's Minamata if petrochemical and industrial factories expanded in Rayong.

    Janjira Pongrai

    The Nation

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Sydney Australia
    Thanked 281 Times in 224 Posts

    Re: Warning over dust particles: Bangkok

    Well every day seems to be a bad day in Bangkok, when your concerning your self with air pollution.

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