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Pollution Levels where you live?

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by Beagles111, Jan 12, 2020.

  1. Beagles111

    Beagles111 New commenter

    It was reported in the Bangkok Post this week that Bangkok has the third most polluted air in the world. ( https://www.bangkokpost.com/learning/easy/1831894/bangkok-has-worlds-third-worst-air-quality ) This is a situation which has been building for the past few years and finally came to a head last January when the government ordered that all schools be shut for two days in order to A) get cars off the roads and B) try to save young lungs from further harm.
    The type of pollutants are of the worst kind.The tiny pervasive ones which most filters cannot catch (PM 2.5), mainly caused by farmers burning off the stubble in their fields around the cities. My reason for this post? A warning, if you are thinking of coming to Bangkok to work I would ask your prospective employers what provision they are making to protect the kids. Do they have a policy? Do they have air purifiers in each classroom and not just the Head of Schools office. Some do but many do not. If you are actually bringing small children with you then perhaps you should be aware of the risks that you are running with their health. ( https://sprouts.co.th/protect-children-from-air-pollution-in-bangkok/ )

    Anyway I was driving (the irony of it!) into the city today and saw the pall of black pollution hanging over it and thought that I would pass this on. Certainly something else to add to your research page when looking for a job.

    It might also be interesting to see what the pollutant levels are in other major cities where you all work.
    Have a good week.
  2. grdwdgrrrl

    grdwdgrrrl Occasional commenter

    At this time of year, China should be getting better as factories shut down for Chinese New Year. Then they’ll be back at it after Lantern Festival. Bangkok is worrying. Although we have air purifiers inside, the windows are not sealed, as it were. You can see gaps. My kids have mild asthma so I am taking precautions by wearing very expensive masks everywhere. I hope it gets better soon and doesn’t become the new normal or we’ll leave.
  3. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    As regular readers of the pachyderm's online ramblings will already know, this smelly old hippo used to walk to school and back every day. This was during our five-year stint in Shenzhen. But in our fifth year, Mrs Hippo started to get these rather nasty lumps and swellings on her forehead and in one or two other places. It was bad. "Air pollution," said the doctor. "The levels of pollution build up in your body over months or even years. Then you start to get the symptoms." Of course all of the lumps disappeared after we left China and moved back to Bulgaria. Well, you can read all about it in my blog bulgariawithnoodles.blogspot.com

    This matter of pollution is a tricky one. Yes, you can get air filters for your apartment, at a hundred dollars a pop and they only last for a month or two. I have warned teachers with young children NOT to go to Beijing. Even Shanghai can be very bad and teachers who already have asthma or some sort of breathing difficulty should definitely cross off China from their list of countries where they might get a job. But then I remember a conversation I had with a lady colleague in SZ. Why was she leaving and going to Beijing? "Because they are going to pay me nearly three times what I am getting here in Shenzhen" was her reply.
  4. Bsmart19

    Bsmart19 New commenter

    Agree - I’m based in Bangkok and the pollution is terrible. My school have purifiers and monitors and children cannot be out when it reaches certain levels. It’s very sad. My fourth year here and it’s part of the reason I’m moving on. Sad to leave but I know I’m getting poisoned I can taste it and feel it in my body.
    grdwdgrrrl likes this.
  5. fordseries123

    fordseries123 New commenter

    Good points made here. It's a worry a for sure, not so much for myself, but the heath of my children. Would be sad to leave Bangkok (great city) but will have to make a decision in the next 2 or 3 years for the long term health of my children.
    grdwdgrrrl likes this.
  6. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    During the whole of our two years in Santiago de Chile it rained about five times and the shrubs on the terrace dribbled black ink onto our white car below. Here in rural Andalusia the air quality is generally excellent but they are currently spraying the olive trees and I'm using my inhaler more often than usual.
  7. adrixargentina

    adrixargentina Occasional commenter

    What about Hong Kong. Is it really that terrible??
  8. claytie

    claytie New commenter

    How's KL these days?
  9. lucyrose50

    lucyrose50 Occasional commenter

    KL is absolutely fine. No noticeable pollution. It's only really an issue when the forest fires are happening in Indonesia around September time, and even then it's not every year. It was bad last Sept but the 2 years before that were OK. I'm quite susceptible to breathing issues if the air quality is poor, and last Sept was the only time I've noticed it.
  10. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

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    HK can be very bad. Having said that, people who know much more about this than a smelly old hippo also add that it is very variable. It is quite possible for some parts of HK to be vile and others will be okay.

    Incidentally, Sofia has the less-than-enviable reputation for being the most polluted capital city in Europe. Well, that is not so surprising, when you see some of the old bangers that are on the roads. So far Mr and Mrs Hippopotamus have not had any problems, but we do live in one of the nicer parts of Sofia, right next to a huge park and not far from Vitosha. Even so, it is very pleasant to escape from the noise and pollution of the city and go to our villa in Kalotina, not far from the border with Serbia.
    TeacherMan19 likes this.
  11. spanboy

    spanboy Occasional commenter

    An Aussie colleague pointed out to me that today Beijing was 29 PM 2.5, and Melbourne was 309 PM 2.5 - though I expect fires have a lot to do with this!

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 14, 2020
  12. gilderbeast2000

    gilderbeast2000 New commenter

    Beijing has taken action to decrease its pollution levels. I am leaving Bangkok next year and moving to Shunyi, Beijing because they the government in Thailanddoesnt care about the pollution crisis.I have been checking Beijings AQI daily, especially the Shunyi district and it is often below 50. It only occassionally goes above 100. Bangkok has been consistently above 100 and even 200 every day over the past month. So I am actually leaving Bangkok to live in Beijing due to the pollution. However everybody assumes that Beijing is heavily polluted which is a misconception. They have removed the older cars, heaters etc that were causing it. Yes, pollution still exists but its much improved..
    spanboy likes this.
  13. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Yes, I have also heard this from various sources, gilderbeast2000. When we were in SZ, our Chinese friends had some dreadful things to say about the pollution in the capital. So just how bad is the pollution in Beijing? Of course, things would be clearer if we really could trust the information coming from the Chinese government. Another problem is that pollution levels do not the stay the same.
  14. spanboy

    spanboy Occasional commenter

    Yes, you are right. I live in Shunyi and we have a lot of excellent days. Getting better year on year.
  15. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    Blue skies here today and yesterday were very nice, weren't they? Bloomin' cold though.....
    spanboy likes this.
  16. lucyrose50

    lucyrose50 Occasional commenter

    Are the online air quality figures for China reliable? They often seem unbelievably low - I've had people I know in China talking about how bad the air is in their city at that point, when the statistics online say that it's really good. I wonder how accurate they actually are.
  17. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    @lucyrose50, they're fairly accurate - but they do vary from city to city and even parts of the city. Right now, the AQI is low because the factories are shutting down for Chinese New Year and there is less traffic on the road. Once they all come back in February, then the pollution will go up again and we'll have days of AQI of 200+. Most people have the AirVisual app which is pretty good.
  18. spanboy

    spanboy Occasional commenter

    @amysdad Yes, very nice but, as you say, a definite nip in the air!
  19. TeacherMan19

    TeacherMan19 Occasional commenter

    Totally varies. Certain seasons are lower than others. Today has been very low where I live. It can vary a lot in a few miles too. And which city you live in. It feels like there's no guessing what's going to happen with the aqi most of the time.
  20. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    When we were in Shenzhen, the local government were usually quite clear and open about the filth that was in the air, if we are talking about the bigger stuff. The bad news is that the smaller particles were often not mentioned or ignored. They are the little ******** that get into your lungs and really cause the damage.

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