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50,000 prepared to work from home if PM2.5 in Bangkok reaches Red level

Written by World Events

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has reached an agreement with civic groups for as many as 50,000 of their members to work from home if air pollution in Bangkok reaches and remains at the Red level for three consecutive days, Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt said today.

The governor held a meeting this morning with senior administrators to discuss the PM2.5 dust problem in the capital, which has been getting steadily worse, mainly due to poor air circulation and burning of bio-mass in the countryside and in neighbouring countries.

He disclosed that only 525 hotspots were detected between January 1st and 9th last year, compared to 1,089 during the same period this year, a 107% increase.

Regarding vehicle exhaust emissions, the governor said that the BMA has joined hands with nine car companies to encourage car owners to maintain their engines and to switch to Euro-5 grade petrol.

He said all municipal schools will have at least one dust-free room, to accommodate students when air qualaity is bad, and additional rooms will be built for kindergarteners.

Currently, the BMA is operating eight air pollution related clinics at its hospitals, such as Taksin, Central, Lat Krabang and Sirindhorn, where people who suffer health problems caused by PM2.5 can seek health care and counselling. They can also seek advice via the telemedicine application or by calling the 1646 hotline.

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