How Thai Clean Air Network is Fighting Air Pollution in Thailand

Volunteers in Thailand fighting air pollution

Did you know that you can prevent 25% of deaths linked to air pollution by raising air quality by 20%?  

While the number varies per country, this recent air quality study proves that having better air quality is directly linked to saving lives. But how do you improve the air quality in one of the most polluted places in the world? 

Today, we’re excited to discuss the Thailand Clean Air Network (Thai CAN) as they develop air quality programs that combat air pollution in Thailand.  

We’re always interacting with our PurpleAir Community to see what kinds of projects are going on. Together, we’re cultivating a community and empowering members with the data they need to tackle air pollution all over the world.   

Because at PurpleAir, we believe in making air quality knowledge accessible to everyone.   

What is Causing Thailand’s Poor Air Quality?  

From November to March, Thailand is enveloped by a haze of high air pollution levels. Because of this, it’s often called the “Haze Season” and contributes to thousands of preventable deaths yearly. Just in 2023, poor air quality caused illnesses in 1.3 million people.  

This haze is primarily attributed to crop burning practices all over Thailand, especially in the Northern region. It’s often one of the fastest and cheapest ways to clear fields for harvesting. However, it’s also one of the most toxic.  

Crop burning releases high amounts of air pollutants, including fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5). Because PM2.5 is so small that your body can’t filter it properly, it causes multiple health problems. Some of these are asthma, lung cancer, heart disease, and even brain dysfunction.  

In the mountainous city of Chiang Mai, they recorded it as the most polluted city in the world. Worse, it even outranks Beijing, China, and Lahore, Pakistan.  

Adding to all this is the fact that neighboring countries, like Myanmar and Cambodia, also practice crop burning. So, the smoke from these countries travels to Thailand and gets trapped by the stagnant summer heat 

What is Thailand Clean Air Network?  

Thailand Clean Air Network is a group of voluntary citizens, academics, and air quality experts working to improve the air quality in Thailand. They do this by publishing and sharing articles, white papers, and air quality studies to raise public awareness.  

They also collaborate with other organizations to develop interactive air quality programs. Their latest project is the Right to Clean Air Roadshow, which is a series of online events and interactive workshops. The project aims to involve more people in the fight for cleaner air in Thailand. In addition to all this, Thai CAN is pushing for sustainable and actionable policies that minimize air pollution in Thailand.  

All About the Thailand Clean Air Act

The Thailand Clean Air Act was started by Thai CAN in 2022. This act aims to serve as a unifying law on air quality. It also seeks to make air quality information more accessible and establish organizations that regulate local and national air quality.  

Most of all, it demands a plan of action from the government to address Thailand’s air quality problems. 

Fighting for better air quality doesn’t only make cities more breathable. But it also saves lives. And Thai CAN hopes to save as many lives as they can with their air quality programs and initiatives. 

Get Involved Yourself  

At PurpleAir, there are tons of community projects going on around the world. We’re thrilled to see these kinds of collaborative efforts, and we look forward to seeing plenty more in the future. Are you working on a community project with PurpleAir’s air quality monitors? 

We would love to hear about it. Share a post in the Community Project forum so we can highlight your work. Together, we can make air quality accessible for everyone.