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Authorities Deny Early February Smoke Is Hazardous

CityNews – Chiang Mai Authorities have claimed that the levels of dust and smog pollution in the city has yet to reach harmful levels, despite many devices recording Air Quality Index (AQI) levels of over 150.

On February 6, Chiang Mai’s Pollution Control Department said that at the smog detectors at Chang Phuek, Si Phum and Chang Khoeng were reading a PM10 AQI of 93, 79 and 54 respectively. The department has set a rate of 120 AQI as the safe limit, despite all international air quality indexes state anything above 50 AQI is harmful for people.

According to the official AQI website, 120 AQI sits firmly in the middle of Orange level – described as Unhealthy for sensitive groups. According to independent AQI readers which also read PM2.5 levels (more harmful smaller particles that the official government detectors still do not measure), the smog levels in Chiang Mai have exceeded 160 AQI – also known as the Red level, classified as unhealthy to all individuals.