Clean Air Act pushed to address PM 2.5 problems and reduce people’s health impacts from air pollution
ThaiHealth and the Department of Pollution Control are pushing the draft of the Clean Air Act on the legislative level in an effort to effectively address the country’s air pollution problem, notably the PM 2.5 dust particles.
Thai Health Promotion Foundation (ThaiHealth), in collaboration with the Department of Pollution Control, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, has organised an online panel discussion on ‘Clean Air Act’. The panel discussion was joined by representatives of government, academic, educational, politic, and private sectors, with notable personae such as MP Supachai Jaisamut from Bhumjaithai party, MP Pada Vorakanon from Palang Pracharath party, MP Chakraphol Tangsutthitham from Pheu Thai party, MP Nitipon Piwmow from Move Forward party, and MP Pimrapee Phanwichatikul from Democrat party.
ThaiHealth CEO Dr Supreda Adulyanon said that the air pollution caused by dispersal of PM 2.5 dust particles has been considered a worrisome issue in Thailand for more than a decade. According to air quality monitoring data collected by the Centre for Air Pollution Mitigation (CAPM), all regions of Thailand are affected by the widespread PM 2.5 dust particles. On top of the crisis, the country’s northern region is affected by 166 micrograms per cubic metre of such dust, 11 times higher than the World Health Organisation’s level of 15 micrograms per cubic metre. In the past, ThaiHealth has addressed the problem of air pollution, especially the one caused by PM 2.5 dust particles, by establishing the Breath Council of the 9 northern provinces, Burn Check fuel management application, allocation of low-emission zone in Bangkok’s Pathumwan area, 150 dust-free classrooms, 18 community forests in 9 northern provinces, the Centre for Clean Air Solutions (CCAS), and a public health policy against small dust particles.
“ThaiHealth has designated the matter of air pollution as one of the pressing issues in the 10-year strategic plan (2022-2031). This round of panel discussion focused on the integration of driving forces and public participation to tackle the air pollution problem, with ThaiHealth taking the role of creator, designator, and legislation pusher for the goal of enactment of the new law within this year and the goal of attaining clean air for all,” said Dr Supreda.
Director General of the Department of Pollution Control, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Mr Athapol Charoenshunsa, said that the current environment-related laws should be improved, amended, or abolished, so that they are up to date. At the same time, new laws that cover every dimension of the modern world’s pollution should be made. This panel discussion has brought about several new opinions and ideas towards the new law about clean air from experts on air quality, environmental law, and legislation. The participating parties have joined hands to address the problems of air pollution in systematic and appropriate manners. On the side of the discussion, the public audiences are also encouraged to be informed about clean air law and the country’s future goal of clean air for better environment, health, and economy.