Polluted Bangkok’s Year from the Pig curbs on incense surge in smoke

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thais of Chinese descent largely ignored Bangkok’s will need restraint in burning of incense and “spirit money” to mark the Lunar Year as the city fights choking pollution.

Most people celebrating the season of the Pig, which began , shrugged off health concerns as they burnt offerings to ancestors at shrines, many wearing anti-pollution masks.

“It’s impossible to totally stop burning incense,” said Romnalin Wangteeranon, 61, from behind a mask. “It’s a festival which we descendants canrrrt do without.”

Air quality in Bangkok was hovering at unhealthy levels to be the amount of hazardous airborne dust known as PM 2.5 exceeded the safe level in a number of districts where markers have had sell outs at most pharmacies.

PM 2.5 is often a mixture of liquid droplets and solid particles that could include dust, soot and smoke, one of the main measures of the Air Quality Index (AQI).

Tuesday’s AQI was 110 in the afternoon, in accordance with airvisual.com, which measures levels in cities worldwide, placing Bangkok amongst the world’s most polluted cities.

Bangkok’s index has improved from yesterday morning due to a enhancements made on wind direction. But measures taken with the government, including seeding rain clouds, regulating truck traffic and hosing down streets, have helped little.

There only agreed to be slightly less incense burning this current year compared to 2019 , that’s not enough compare unique car features, said the official at the Poh Teck Tung Foundation, which runs the Tai Hong Kong Shrine in Bangkok’s Chinatown.

“Since we can easily only inquire about cooperation, not impose a ban, all of them are still carrying it out,” the official said.