The Pollution Control Department has reported that exhaust fumes of about a third of large vehicles in Bangkok exceed emission standards. Atthaphon Charoenchansa, director-general of the PCD has told a press briefing on PM2.5 air pollution.
The drivers of 2,525 of 7,101 large vehicles, mostly buses and lorries, pulled over for checks in Bangkok during a 12-month period were fined for violating emission standards. The emission standards inspections were carried from October last year to the end of this September.
Large vehicles have been blamed as one of the chief culprits behind small particle pollution. It is hazardous to health, as the incomplete combustion of diesel fuel produces significant amounts of the fine dust.
Mr Atthaphon said the PCD has decided to ramp up emission standards efforts to reduce air pollution from vehicles and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Royal Thai Police and the Ministry of Transport have assigned 20 teams to monitor the capital’s roads.
Bangkok governor Aswin Kwanmuang has already said that larger lorries — those with more than six wheels — will be banned from city roads from 6am to 9pm, from December until February.
PM2.5 levels began to rise again last month due to a high-pressure system blanketing the capital and preventing air from circulating.
Pollution in 19 areas in Bangkok and its peripherals were above safety levels recently, with Tambon Mahachai, in Muang district of Samut Sakhon province, being listed as the worst, with 72 microns (micrograms per cubic metre) of PM2.5 in the air, compared to the safety threshold of 50 microns.