EANET Research Fellowship Programme – The impacts of exposure to fine particulate matter on premature mortality in Bangkok, Thailand
1 December 2020 – Niigata, Japan
The Acid Deposition Monitoring Network in East Asia (EANET)’s fellowship program aims at funding researchers from the EANET’s participating countries to carry out research pertaining to acid deposition at the Network Center in Japan. Kessinee Unapumnuk, from Thailand, was awarded the EANET fellowship for 2018. She led her research on the impacts of exposure to fine particulate matter on premature mortality in Bangkok.
The impacts of fine particulate matters on human health
Fine particulate matters (PM2.5) affect human health and can lead to premature death if exposed for a long time. Chronic exposure to PM2.5 increases the risk of developing cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, as well as lung cancer. The World Health Organization (WHO) reported 4.2 million premature deaths due to cardiovascular and respiratory diseases and cancers worldwide in 2016 related to the exposure to ambient PM2.5 in both urban and rural areas.
Bangkok, Thailand’s capital, has been experiencing frequent episodes of air pollution characterized by a high concentration of PM2.5 due to combustion emissions from multiple sources and stagnant metrological conditions from January to April every year. Transportation-related sources are the major contributions to the PM2.5 levels and result in poor air quality in the city.
Understanding premature mortality attributable to PM2.5 in Bangkok’s districts
Unapumnuk has estimated premature mortalities caused by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung cancer (LC), ischemic heart disease (IHD), and stroke attributed to long-term exposure to PM2.5 in several districts in Bangkok from 2010 to 2017.
In conclusion, the study suggests that a strict emission control of PM2.5 is needed in Bangkok to avoid significant mortality attributable to PM2.5.
Under the EANET Research Fellowship program 2018, this study was conducted at the Asia Center for Air Pollution (ACAP), Niigata Japan. The author acknowledged the help received from the Asia Centre for Air Pollution Research (ACAP) for performing the research as well from the Thai Pollution Control Department and the Ministry of Public Health.
Photo credits: Bangkok by Nick van den Berg, free of the copyright license.