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Bangkok Air Pollution: Safety Tips Travelers Need to Know

Bangkok is undoubtedly a go-to for good food, shopping, and good times—which would explain why there’s a constant whirring around of taxis, tuk tuks, and other vehicles taking tourists from one point to the next.

As fun as that sounds though, the emission from said vehicles and other pollutants are the reason why Bangkok’s air quality has fallen dangerously low, prompting the Thai Prime Minister to announce the closure of schools across the capital.

Vehicle emissions in Bangkok
Editorial Credit: Pnor Tkk /

The Air Quality Index (AQI), which is used by cities and the World Health Organization to determine levels of air pollution, was reported a dangerous 175 in Bangkok last January 30 – the acceptable level for regular human breathing are AQI levels under 25.

The air pollution is made up of dangerous levels of unsafe dust particles (PM2.5) which are small enough to be lodged deep into one’s lungs and can be passed into other body organs.

Air Quality Index Chart

If you find yourself in the city or on your way there, you may want to take the following precautions:


1. Wear proper protection items

Industrial face masks are helpful to protect yourself from harmful micro-particles in the air. Paper masks and bandanas won’t do the trick. N-95 and P-100 masks are tested to offer stronger protection.

Bangkok residents wearing face masks
Editorial Credit: thanis /

2. Monitor pollution levels using your phone

Awareness is key. AQI levels vary based on different factors. Keep track of the current state of air in your area by using an app that accurately monitors air pollution levels.

Air Visual App can help you make an informed decision as to whether you can go out or not.

3. Stay away from congested areas

If you’re planning on completing your workout routine outside, think again. You might want to exercise indoors instead.

Keeping away from heavily populated spots in the city can also help you avoid suffocation.

4. Keep your space tidy

Wipe off the surfaces in the place you’re staying at. Keeping your place tidy can clear up potential air pollutants.


Want to remain healthy when traveling? Check out the different ways you can be fit during your trips.

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