Bangkok Air Pollution

The pollution situation in Bangkok has improved dramatically since the year 2000.

The main source of air pollution used to be buses which belched out diesel smoke. That changed around 2005 when buses were converted into Natural Gas Vehicles (NGV) and Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) vehicles.

There was also a campaign to do better maintenance of the vehicle engines.

The government has also invested in a lot of infrastructure and tax incentives to encourage production and use of natural gas to fuel commercial vehicles. Natural gas is more economical than diesel. Also, Thailand has abundant reserves of natural gas but not much oil, so use of natural gas instead of imported oil helps the trade balance and local economy, in addition to creating a whole new economic sector and jobs.

Back in the year 2000, stand in one place, and there would periodically be vehicles like this, mainly green buses, other buses (like the white one below), private commercial vehicles, private cars and even motorcycles.

When the traffic light turned green, a big cloud of pollution rose and takes a few minutes to dissipate. That has been reduced greatly, with just a little cloud due to some motorcycles.

In the old days, if I needed to walk on a main road, I would be sure to walk up-wind. Now, I no longer notice.

From tall buildings, the air would be clear at sunrise but by noon it was difficult to see more than a few kilometers. Now, it stays pretty clear all day.

If you have respiratory problems, then you may still want to go live by the seaside or in the suburbs, but many people with respiratory problems are OK in Bangkok.




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