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Smoke, Smog, Dust 2016-2017 Chiang Mai

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I don't know all the correct terminology IS, but what I am saying is that when you look up on AQI there is a little box that says a number, and often those numbers are the same as many places. But in reality there is no difference between what that little box says here in Singapore as to what that little box says in CM. The point is "Lots of BS and a horrible filthy toilet to live in is what CM has become for 5 months a year.

Yes, so you've said, repeatedly!

Perhaps poster vivid will be so kind as to post a one year picture in order to stop the whining and to dispel the 5 month nonsense?

Only have PM2.5 data for 2015, for 36t.

Annual PM2.5 = 34ug/m3

6yjSYVr.jpg

Annual average of 34 for PM2.5 probably doesn't mean much, but it looks like the PM2.5 levels do exceed the generally accepted safe level for at least 5 months.

(insert "buries head in sand" emoticon here)

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Page 11 of the link below discusses PM2.5 targets, in summary and paraphrased:

IT-1 targets an annual mean PM2.5 level of 35; IT-2 at 25 results in a 6% drop in mortality rates and IT-3 at 15 results in a further 6% reduction - http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/69477/1/WHO_SDE_PHE_OEH_06.02_eng.pdf

So, questions that arise are:

what is the area of coverage of the graph, is it Chiang Mai Muang, Province or elsewhere?

What is the average PM2.5 mean that results from that area?

Sorry if the above appears pedantic but I think it isn't, the air quality here can be very bad at times but I think it's important to keep the numbers in perspective and to be sure of which are we are classifying as extremely poor. For example, I would expect Chiang Mai Muang (or the centre of Chiang Mai City) to show high levels of pollution resulting from concentrated vehicular traffic and I would expect that to be somewhat constant. But I would expect rural Chaing Mai to show different numbers, lower pollution resulting from vehicular traffic but higher numbers seasonally resulting from crop burning.

I think it's also important to not get too hung up on the target numbers since it's not a matter of being safe or not if one level of targets is achieved, it's more that a person is safer at one level than at another.

Finally tremendous and overdue thanks to poster vivid for producing the charts and providing understandable data on this so consistently, greatly appreciated by many but I just wanted to say thanks personally publically.

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Actually an annual PM2.5 level of 34 ug/m3 is quite a lot. sad.png It just doesn't seem to be a lot.

The WHO's recommended level is 10 ug/m3 annual.

Places like Western Australia have a 8 ug/m3 recommended limit.

Vacouver Canada does 4 ug/m3. Single digits are really low though, but countries must realise that if it's too much of a fear-mongering thingy that causes economic impacts and unncessary fear than the haze itself, then it's not good. Though that'd definitely keep the environmentalists darn happy. wai2.gif

You definitely would not want to get anywhere near Northeastern China corridor's annual 70+ ug/m3 level.

Quick google source

http://www.greenpeace.org/eastasia/press/releases/climate-energy/2016/Q4-City-Rankings-2015/

China cities annual PM2.5

http://www.greenpeace.org/eastasia/news/blog/bad-to-worse-ranking-74-chinese-cities-by-air/blog/48181/

Let me cut out the approx 4 months of haze window and show another representation.

Edited by vivid
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Oh, btw, do not think that wood smoke is just merely smoke that comes from burning wood (lol whistling.gif ). US EPA estimates that the lifetime cancer risk for wood smoke is 12X that of cigarette smoke.

But of course....cigarette smoke inhalation by smokers is much higher (eg 1 pack a day). But for air pollution, you are exposing a whole population to it including the very young even infants/toddlers and all the elderly, chonically sick etc.

You do not have a choice, other than putting on a N95 or getting HEPA air purifiers.

The said wood smoke 12X cancer risk that of cigarette smoke, from a legit site

http://www.ecy.wa.gov/pubs/92046.pdf

Average of 71 ug/m3 for the burning months.

WrytxI3.jpg

Edited by vivid

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16 ug/m3 for the non-burning months from June to Dec (versus 71 ug/m3 for the burning months)

tNdCYdx.jpg

Edited by vivid
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16 ug/m3 for the non-burning months from June to Dec (versus 71 ug/m3 for the burning months)

tNdCYdx.jpg

Be interesting to see December & January on their own, if possible (Thanks :)

I would do it myself but lack the computer skills to get it to go back before 1st March 2016 on the dropdown calendar.

Edited by ogb

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There's a risk of seeming to want to play a numbers game here so let me head that one off, it's not that.

That having been said I would classify the burning season as mid February through end April, more probably through Songkran, that would have the obvious effect of adjusting one set of numbers upwards and the other downwards but might be more appropriate statistically.

Secondly, you estimated an average and not a mean, do you know the numerical difference because that definitely does have a bearing on the numbers?

Thirdly, which station is 36T, is that Muang, this is important given my earlier remarks regarding vehicular traffic.?

Finally, yes I accept that 34 is a lot except that as you've shown, that's not the mean for the year, nor is is it the average for the non-burning season, nor is it the mean for the burning season, it's just an average number.

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Have to add on these :

1. Lifetime cancer risk is still not high compared to cigarette smoke (already mentioned). Wood smoke vs diesel smoke, US EPA estimates that the lifetime lung cancer risk is 3X higher.

Lets take 16 ug/m3 for theasd non-burning months (6 months). If we were to take 6 ug/m3 to be diesel particulates (6 ug/m3 is already very generous probably), that means it's the "equivalent" of 18 ug/m3 of wood smoke in terms of lifetime lung cancer risk, 6 months. Or if you think about it, it's probably always there so it's 12 months. Not a lot compared to the haze period, but it's not a very low figure as well.

2. There are other increased risks as well. The more seriouys ones include heart attacks and heart issues, stroke, arrythmia (irregular heartbeat)...basically cardio stuff. Then we have the lungs stuff like COPD. Mid and upper respiratory tract stuff like sinusitis, allergic rhinitis, asthma. Less dangerous stuff like headache, rashes, irritation of the ENT or Eyes/Nose/Throat.

3. Effects are significantly worse for the sensitive group individuals and can be downright dangerous at times during higher concentrations. They include pregnant women (the fetus), infants/toddlers/developing children, elderly, the chronically sick with heart or lung issues, the asthmatic, sensitive people with rhinitis/sinusitis in which haze particles cause an allergic reaction (sensitivity varies as well). Other more diseases include pneumonia and bronchitis, which may be secondary infections brought about by the haze, ie the haze particles makes a small underlying chronic infection much worse, something that would otherwise be ok and give an ok quality of life. Severe pneumonia can kill.

Haze is well-linked to inflammation (that's how the heart attacks come about anyway).

4. 1 year, 2 months...4 months are long-term and somewhat long term durations.

Daily mean (24-hr) have health advisories attached to them as well. This is known as short-term exposure.

Latest research indicate that very short term exposure, as little as 30 to 60 minutes, may invoke light to moderate symptoms for the really asthmatic/rhinitis suffers. High concentrations are bad, but it's been researched that lower concentrations may trigger lighter symptoms. Though rhinitis is probably "ok", more of an irritation and you'll probably live. Very severe asthma, a bronchoconstriction, can snuff out a life if he does not have his ventolin neubilizier by his side. For some of the ultra sensitive risk group in the cardio camp, there is an increased risk of heart attack.

There may be more ........ but well this is just off my mind.

You do not have to live in fear esp for those doing their retirements in N Thailand and this is not meant to be a fear-mongering post. But do be mindful, it has to be......i mean i am pretty sure a very large portion of the folks here are not in their 20s-40s, but more of people who are retiring, ie elderly. Statistically it would be bad.

Take precautions like having a N95 with you during haze season (there are foldable version, just slot it into your jeans pockets when you are going out) and use HEPA filtration from your air purifiers judiciously, you'd be in good hands. laugh.png

Edited by vivid

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Absolutely no doubt about the health effects, short term, long term, various groups and we can agree those things.

Will you please respond to the points I raised in post 503?

EDIT to add: forget the issue of "mean", I've got median in my brain!

Edited by chiang mai

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There's a risk of seeming to want to play a numbers game here so let me head that one off, it's not that.

That having been said I would classify the burning season as mid February through end April, more probably through Songkran, that would have the obvious effect of adjusting one set of numbers upwards and the other downwards but might be more appropriate statistically.

Secondly, you estimated an average and not a mean, do you know the numerical difference because that definitely does have a bearing on the numbers?

Thirdly, which station is 36T, is that Muang, this is important given my earlier remarks regarding vehicular traffic.?

Finally, yes I accept that 34 is a lot except that as you've shown, that's not the mean for the year, nor is is it the average for the non-burning season, nor is it the mean for the burning season, it's just an average number.

No problems. Well i could adjust it to 15th Feb (or even 28th Feb lol! Joking buddy) to 25th April....from just eyeballing can i just hazard a number 80ug/m3? whistling.gif No doubt that if one focuses on the peak periods, it'd rise.

That's a period 2 months, it's not a short period.

1 year is the period in which most air pollution studies are done. The other one is 24-hr mean, 1 day. 2 months is definitely not a short period as well.

Second point - well, not sure what's the diff between (a) a mean (B) an average, but i guess they are around the same and don't have a big difference. I mean, it's there....we just need a ballpark.

I'm actually living in Singapore and i have only been to Thailand (BKK mainly, once CM/MHS and another time Phuket for a few hrs during a short cruise) for a couple of few-days-tours. lol! cheesy.gif

Anywayz....36t is Si Phum, Mueang, Chiang Mai.

Third point.....Vehicular traffic = petrol and diesel. I think you guys have already phased out leaded petrol right? Have already mentioned that diesel is 3X > lifetime lung cancer risk than wood smoke.

Not sure what's the difference between average (arithmetic mean, googled) vs mean, as used in the context of air pollution studies though. If i am not wrong, they are the same, as from my experience with 24-hr mean. It's really add up 24 x 1-hour values and divide by 24. The 1-hr readings are gotten from approx 60 samples, either that or it's continuous, contextually.

http://blog.dictionary.com/mean-median-mode/

Mean (or arithmetic mean) is a type of average. It is computed by adding the values and dividing by the number of values. Average is a synonym for arithmetic mean – which is the value obtained by dividing the sum of a set of quantities by the number of quantities in the set. An example is (3 + 4 + 5) ÷ 3 = 4. The average or mean is 4.

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Anyway i'm heading out. Will reply any posts directed to me later. :)

Thanks for your efforts - The Dec & Jan reports above are all I need as I think this year was a fairly good representative of what its like at that time, and certainly not the worst its been over those months.

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OK, here's what I see and really it's nothing different from what's been discussed here previously, albeit we now have data, courtesy of poster vivid, for everyone to reference:

The non-burning period mean appears to be around 14/18 whilst the burning period mean is around 70/80 based on how long we think the burning period really is.

If we try and annualize that we come out at around 36 which is very high but is also I think, very misleading since many people don't spend the entire year here hence the risk levels will vary from person to person.

The numbers above are for Muang, central Chiang Mai City. Because of the high volume of petrol/diesel vehicles in the centre the numbers, averages and associated risks are going to be different based on location, not least of which includes elevation.

So coming back to the earlier comment which I challenged that Chiang Mai was a pollution toilet for five months out of the year: yes, possibly, for people living in Chiang Mai City. For people who live in the suburbs and satellite towns the answer is most likely to be very different. Anecdotally: I've spent six years in Muang and two years in Mae Rim, in the former I knew very well that it was burning season because of all the associated effects plus my yearly bronchitis - my two years in Mae Rim have been the complete opposite although I can't support or prove this statistically, lower levels of vehicular traffic and higher proportion of green areas contribute, I think.

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