Thailand set to deploy rainmaking planes as pollution chokes Bangkok

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The new National Environmental Health Profile study is going to be a collaborative effort with the Central Pollution Control Board and the State Pollution Control Board so the data can help control pollution.

Michael Gove called for action on emissions from a variety of sources, including in the home, as he set out plans to reduce people's exposure to particulate matter - considered the most damaging pollutant.

These include increasingly popular domestic burning on stoves and open fires, now the single biggest source of particulate matter emissions in Britain. In addition to cars, diesel-only trains will also be phased out by 2040.

The proposals, outlined in the Government's Clean Air Strategy, include plans to outlaw the sale of the most polluting fuels and to ensure only the cleanest stoves are sold by 2022.

Mr Gove is also expected to say ministers will also take action to reduce air pollution from agriculture, which is responsible for 88% of ammonia emissions by supporting farmers to invest in infrastructure and equipment to reduce emissions.

Air pollution is one of the biggest threats to public health in the United Kingdom - behind only cancer, obesity and heart disease - and the measures set out in the Clean Air Strategy will cut the costs of air pollution to society by £1.7 billion every year by 2020, rising to £5.3 billion every year from 2030.

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However, Greenpeace's Thailand director Tara Buakamsri said immediate action should be taken by the authorities, including reducing the number of cars and closing schools in high-risk areas.

A government spokesman said junta leader Prayuth Chan-ocha has ordered related agencies to inform people of the danger of ultrafine particles after Bangkok's air quality this past weekend again fell to "unhealthy" levels.

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration instructed district offices to clean roads every day and spray water in the air to curb dust.

"However, we're disappointed that it doesn't include a clear commitment to adopt the World Health Organization limits for particulate matter pollution in the upcoming Environment Bill".

But the pollution department has played down the dangers of the persistent haze, which the government judges using a different set of measurements to gauge the concentration of harmful microscopic particles known as PM2.5.

"No one should have to breathe toxic air, especially not people with a lung condition or children whose lungs are still growing".

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