High concentrations of particulate matter or PM 2.5, remain in at least 21 areas throughout Bangkok and its vicinity. (Photo: Reuters)

Bangkok (NNT/VNA) – Thai authorities have acknowledged that high concentrations of particulate matter or PM 2.5, remain in at least 21 areas throughout Bangkok and its vicinity, and the overall pollution situation could worsen again this week.

The country’s Pollution Control Department (PCD) has indicated that strong winds have helped to disperse PM 2.5 somewhat with most areas now seeing a concentration of between 38 and 85 micrograms per cubic meter.  However, up to 21 areas in and around the capital still have hazardous levels of the air pollution.  With winds likely to die down, concentration levels are expected to rise again on January 29 and 30.

The department has confirmed that findings from a recent study show that PM 2.5 pollution in Bangkok also contains heavy metals from the automotive industry, which pose a cancer threat after extended exposure.

PCD Director-General Pralong Damrongthai explained that the situation is complex due to pollution differing from area to area and people reacting differently based on their physical condition.  Thailand nonetheless has standards for the makeup of air, and limits heavy metals such as lead to 1.5 micrograms per cubic meter over the period of a month.-NNT/VNA