The Pollution Control Department recently issued warnings about the air quality in inner Bangkok which has high levels of particulate matter of 2.5 microns or less in diameter (PM 2.5).

According to AirNow’s website, fine particles (PM2.5) are 2.5 micrometers in diameter or smaller, and can only be seen with an electron microscope. Fine particles are produced from all types of combustion, including motor vehicles, power plants, residential wood burning, forest fires, agricultural burning, and some industrial processes.

People with heart or lung diseases, older adults and children are most likely to be affected by particle pollution exposure. However, even if you are healthy, you may feel temporary symptoms if you are exposed to high levels of particle pollution. Numerous scientific studies connect particle pollution exposure to a variety of health issues, including irritation of the eyes, nose and throat; coughing; chest tightness and shortness of breath; reduced lung function; irregular heartbeat; asthma attacks; heart attacks and premature death in people with heart or lung disease.

The Pollution Control Department advises the use of N95 or P100 respirators (N=Not oil resistant, P=Oil proof). Incidentally, the N95 mask is also effective in helping to prevent the spread of Flu, swine flu and avian flu transmission from person to person.

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