Smog Is So Bad in Bangkok That Hundreds of Schools Are Closed for the Week

A young girl leaves school, which is out for the week as a result of the awful air pollution.
Photo: AP

While hundreds of schools in the American Midwest are shut down due to freezing temperatures, hundreds in another part of the world are facing closures for a different reason entirely: air pollution.

Thailand’s capital city of Bangkok has been dealing with shitty air quality all month, but now the incessant air pollution has forced the city to close schools for the rest of the week. The air quality levels for particulate matter—nasty tiny particles that can enter the lungs and heart where they can cause damage—shot as high as 200 this week on the Air Quality Index, an unhealthy level that can affect anyone regardless of their health. The air quality in 41 areas throughout the city has dropped below what the Department of Pollution Control deems safe, per Reuters.

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This little cutie’s covering his face to protect himself from air pollution. :(
Photo: AP

More than 400 public schools ended their school day at noon Wednesday. Other schools will be closed come Thursday and Friday.

“We will assess the situation on Saturday and Sunday to see whether there would be the need to close all schools further next week,” said government spokesman Puttipong Punnakan, according to Reuters.

The poor air quality is a result of a number of things: traffic, burning of crops, factory pollution, and even construction. The city had turned to cloud seeding earlier this month to induce some rains to help wash the smog away. Seems that didn’t work, and neither did the city’s attempts to shoot water cannons into the air.

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Roads are closed, and the city has been declared a “pollution control zone,” according to the Washington Post. Calling off all diesel cars and construction is supposed to quell the situation. The Guardian reports that next on the list of options are drones that’ll “disperse sugary liquid solution to help clear the air of microscopic particles.”

If artificial rain didn’t work, perhaps sugar will?

That’s how thick the smog is in Bangkok.
Photo: AP
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About the author

Yessenia Funes

I mostly write about how environmental policy and climate change intersect with race and class though I occasionally write about animals, science, and art, too. We all need an escape, right?

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