KKU doctors warn about PM 2.5, which can affect health
Fri 8 Feb. 2019

       February 8, 2019 – Department of Toxic Control measured the air quality in Muang Sub-district, Muang District, Khon Kaen, reporting that PM 2.5 reached 103 µg/m3 – a degree affecting health. Besides, the detected PM10 was 162 µg/m3, which is on the margin to affect health. O3 itself was found at 79 ppb, also on the same margin.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Anakkapong Panmanee from Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine of Khon Kaen University revealed that pm 2.5, which is on the current news is bad for health. The effect could be short-term – affecting people’s inhalation and causing irritation, running nose, and mucus. With those who have allergies, the symptoms will be more apparent that those without any congenital disease. The long-term effect could be worsening the bottom respiratory tract since pm 2.5 is very small. Anything smaller than 0.5micron can enter arteries and organs. In addition, the highest risk groups include the group with congenital diseases, with asthma, those suffering from respiratory diseases and those with uncontrollable heart disease. The next risk groups are children, the elderly, weak patients. In these groups, the existing disease can be worsened or else there is a risk to get infection or recurring irritation at the respiratory tract.

       “The dimness we see indicates minute dust or 2.5 micron at a great amount. This is the current condition in Khon Kaen now. We should avoid going out in the open or do activities where we need to breathe rapidly for a long time such as exercising in the open. We should wear mask to protect ourselves. Efficient masks in this case are the N95, but if must be put on correctly. If this cannot be found then other hygiene masks can be used, at least better than nothing. However, those who do not belong to the mentioned risk groups do not have to worry too much.  In the normal atmosphere, there is higher pm 2.5 than indoor where air-conditioners are turned on, since the appliance filters air to certain degree. Therefore, do not open the window when sleeping. It is better to turn on the air-conditioner. Everyone can help lessening dusts by avoid burning trash because the smoke causes air pollution. You should turn off the engine every time you park your car. Diesel engine causes toxic smoke. Refrain from barbecuing food because the fat in the food dripping down on the charcoal results in incomplete combustion and produce less than 2.5 micron dusts. Refrain from lighting incense sticks, candles, or smoking. Research indicates that cigarette smoke contain more pm 2.5 than exhaust gases from vehicles. Experiments have shown that 3 diesel engines working in a closed room emit less pm2.5 than 3 cigarettes burning in a period of 10 minutes,” Assoc. Prof. Dr. Anakkapong explained.

         During this period, Thailand is facing bad weather. Everybody should assist by doing what is suggested above. In addition, from February 8, 2019, Khon Kaen University is giving hygiene masks for free to school students, students and staff. Please get your masks at the Primary Health Care Unit, 123, KKU (The health center behind the 8 dormitories zone from 8.00 a.m. to 8.00 p.m. during weekdays only.