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Christmas Eve to Bring ‘Gift’ of Deadly PM 2.5 Smog to Bangkok

Construction halted, schools cancel outdoor activities Dec. 24-29

Santa Claus will have to navigate his way through choking smog on Christmas Eve, as Bangkok’s PM 2.5-heavy pollution is expected to return for at least five days.

The government on Monday asked the public to prepare themselves for an expected accumulation of airborne particles. Now everyone has an even more reasons to wear face masks.

The Center for Air Pollution Mitigation chaired by the Office of the Prime Minister’s Permanent Secretary Theerapat Prayurasiddhi said unhealty air will persist Dec. 24-29.

During this time, airborne particles will accumulate in the atmosphere as weakening winter winds coming from China will no longer be able to dissipate the haze.

Some precipitation is expected during this period, however it is not likely to be significant enough to wash PM 2.5 dust out of the atmosphere.

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To help mitigate this issue, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration  has ordered construction works to be suspended for three days, with contractors responsible for cleaning up the road surface where they are working.

Schools under the BMA’s supervision have been instructed to cancel outdoor activities, or close temporarily in areas where the situation is severe.

Offices are asked to stagger their employees work schedule or have them work more from home, while district offices will be using water sprays to clean road surfaces and nearby trees.

The Department of Health has suggested the general public closely monitor the air quality index reported on the Air4Thai mobile app, and wear a dust-protective masks.

In areas with an air quality index ranging from unhealthy to very unhealthy, persons with a chronic disease should avoid going outside, and refrain from any outdoor activities. Villagers are also encouraged to clean up their houses and other buildings to prevent the accumulation of dust.