Quick Air Pollution Stats

3 million deaths every year due to outdoor air pollution (2012 WHO)

  • 88% in W Pacific and South-East Asia regions
  • 92% of the world’s population lives in places where air quality exceeds WHO guideline limits

Nearly 49,000 people died from air pollution in Thailand in 2013

  • The association between air pollution and mortality in Thailand
  • All air pollutants increased death.
  • O3 air pollution is significantly associated with cardiovascular mortality
  • PM10 is significantly related to respiratory mortality.

Worldwide outdoor air pollution accounts for:

  • 25% of all deaths and disease from lung cancer
  • 17% of all deaths and disease from acute lower respiratory infection
  • 16% of all deaths from stroke
  • 15% of all deaths and disease from ischaemic heart disease
  • 8% of all deaths and disease from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Pollutants with the strongest evidence for public health concern, include particulate matter (PM), ozone (O3), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and sulphur dioxide (SO2).

Sources of PM include combustion engines (both diesel and petrol)

Burning adds to Existing Urban Pollution

In other words the already bad air pollution in cities is pushed way over safe limits by agricultural or other burning

Particulates from burning spread over large area, traffic air pollution is concentrated where people are

Vehicles, not farms cause NOs to form ammonium nitrate, brown color in urban haze.

Rush Hour Air (especially inside cars) twice as bad as thought

The levels of some forms of harmful particulate matter inside car cabins was found to be twice as high as previously believed.

People who live close to heavy traffic have a higher risk of dementia.

Strongest association among those who live closest to the roads (less than 50 meters), in big cities

Long-term air pollution exposure and living close to busy roads are associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in women

Chronic exposure to PM10, NO2 and living near a major road might increase the risk of developing COPD and can have a detrimental effect on lung function.

Long-term air pollution and living close to busy roads = COPD in women

Children more sensitive to poor air quality - 25% deaths young children (WHO)


1,000+ nurseries close to roads with NO2 over 40µg/m3
2,091 schools, nurseries within 150 metres of a road with illegal levels of NO2

Mental illness in children

More pollution = More psychiatric problems

Children at schools with higher traffic air pollution have slower cognitive development.

The EU and WHO limit for NO2 is 40mcg/m3

10mcg/m3 increase in NO2 = 9% increase in mental illness in children
10mcg/m3 increase in PM2.5 / PM10 = 4% increase in mental illness

Children are more vulnerable to auto-emission health impacts

  • They breathe more air relative to their body weight
  • more physically active, more time outdoors when pollutant levels highest.
  • more years to accumulate damage
  • developing organs more vulnerable

Women living near traffic during pregnancy have a 20 – 30% higher chance of having children with lung impairment.

Car PM exposure during 3rd trimester doubles risk for autism.

11%  of U.S. residents, over 30 million people, live within 100 meters of 4 lane or greater highways.
1/3 of U.S. people spend a substantial portion of their day exposed to unhealthy levels of auto emission PMs.

Ground Zero:

  • Curbside and in-traffic air contains high levels of all auto emissions pollutants.
  • PM at intersections 29 times higher than roads generally
  • Cyclists, in car with windows down or vents open, roadside residents and businesses receive up to 25 times the level of PM exposure.  
  • Air inside cars higher pollutants than outside - 4x benzene, 10x CO
  • Windows closed & recirculate reduces in-car pollutants to 20% of outside. Still 5x roads generally

High Toxicity Zone – 300 – 500 feet:

  • PM significantly higher
  • Concentrated within 100m from highways.
  • Pregnant women who live within 150m of high traffic - birth complications, premature birth, low birth weight, children with medical problems.
  • Early mortality correlated — from a wide range of illnesses — with living within 100m of a high traffic roads

Elevated Toxicity Zone – 1,000 – 1,500 feet:

  • PM higher
  • Children living within - 8x leukemia, 6x all types of cancer.
  • Children under 5 in hospital asthma emergencies much more likely to live within 500m of a major road
  • Particle levels return to near normal beyond that distance.



  1. Use bicycles or Mobike for short journey's in the city
  2. If you have a diesel truck, overhaul the engine, and consider fitting a particle filter to the exhaust.
  3. When buying a new car or truck, consider air pollution, and buy a car or truck with low emissions. (And do you really need a truck? How often do you use it as a truck?)
  4. Write to Nakorn Lanna (facebook or email or call them) and ask them for more electric tuk tuks and to clean up their red taxis diesel engines. Write posts on social media about them.

    Nakorn Lanna phone: 053 016 503

    Email: nakornlanna@hotmail.co.th
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100005230561878


Trees provide megacities with more than $500 million a year per city in services

  • Urban Trees:
  • Reduce air pollution
  • Prevent stormwater runoff,
  • Reduce energy costs and carbon emissions.
  • Cool buildings
  • Remove of airborne particulate matter
  • Provide Carbon sequestration
Install our app,
it's super easy!