Thailand's leader traveled to the northern city of Chiang Mai earlier this week to personally inspect areas with extremely poor air quality.
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha ordered government agencies to take urgent measures to fight the air pollution, which has reached dangerous levels.
Recently, pollution levels in and around Chiang Mai have risen above those of major world cities known for having poor air quality.
In recent days, tests found that Northern Thailand had very high levels of airborne particulates known as PM2.5. PM2.5 particulates are small enough to be taken into the lungs and enter the bloodstream. They can cause breathing problems and may raise the risks of heart disease and even some cancers.
Recently, the Chiang Mai area has had PM2.5 measurements as high as 480 micrograms. This is more than six times higher than Thailand's air pollution safety limits. Air quality experts consider any level over 300 "hazardous." By comparison, India's capital New Delhi recently reached a level of 228, while Beijing had 161.
Much of Chiang Mai's current pollution is a result of farmers burning crops. Many farmers set fires at this time of year as a way to clear land for planting. Agriculture experts say the air pollution is worse this year because of extremely dry weather.
The dirty air led many people walking or working outside to wear face masks and at least two universities cancelled classes. Mountains surrounding the city trap large levels of pollution in the area, which is popular with foreign travelers.
Prime Minister Prayuth said he had met with local officials to discuss ways to reduce the burning activities within seven days. Measures would cover more than 1,900 places across nine provinces.
Earlier this year, Thailand's capital Bangkok also had a problem with air pollution. That led more than 400 schools to close and Bangkok's governor to declare a "pollution control" area. That declaration permitted road closings and limits on use of diesel fuel, outdoor burning and some building projects.
Since then, air quality in Bangkok has stayed mostly at moderate levels.
I'm Bryan Lynn.
1. Chiang Mai 清迈
I caught the trees in the water for this shot, which is the one that reminds me of my time in Chiang Mai.
2. airborne participle 悬浮颗粒
Long-term exposure to airborne particulate matter reduces lung function and increases the risk of getting lung cancer.
最近，测试显示，泰国北部空中悬浮微粒，即PM2.5的含量已达超高 。PM2.5这种微粒极小，可吸入肺部并进入血液 。这种微粒可以引发呼吸问题，并加大患心脏病甚至癌症的风险 。
今日，清迈地区PM2.5的含量已达480微克 。这个含量已经是泰国空气污染安全极限的6倍 。空气质量领域的多名专家认为超过300微克就已经属于“危险”等级了 。对比之下，印度首都新德里最近才达到228微克，北京是161微克 。
清迈当前空气污染的主要根源是农民燃烧秸秆 。很多农民每年这个时候都会燃烧秸秆，为种植庄稼清理田地 。多名农业专家表示，空气污染今年加重了，因为天气极度干燥 。
空气污染导致很多在户外走路或者工作的人要带上面罩，至少已经有2所大学停课 。清迈附近的群山已经吸收了很多的污染，因此也成了受境外游客欢迎的地方 。
总理巴育表示，自己已经会见了当地的多名官员，以讨论在一周内减少秸秆燃烧的活动 。相关措施覆盖了9个省的1900多个地方 。
今年初，泰国首都曼谷已经遭遇了空气污染问题 。空气污染问题已经导致400多所学校停课，曼谷的州长也宣布该地区为“污染控制”地区 。这次宣布导致一些道路封锁，同时也限制了柴油的使用、户外燃烧和一些建筑项目 。
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