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Bangkok Pollution

Bangkok Pollution

Postby mathman85 » Sat Feb 02, 2019 2:57 pm

A couple of months ago I accepted an offer from a tier 1 school in Bangkok and will be relocating with a kid. Should we be concerned about the air pollution? Wondering if we made a mistake giving up clean air and easy commute in W.Europe.
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Re: Bangkok Pollution

Postby mignash » Sat Feb 02, 2019 6:17 pm

Bangkok is a large city that does have a pollution problem. Most of the year the pollution levels are acceptable, right now they are getting a lot more attention then in the past. You may want to invest in an air purifier for your apartment for ease of mind.
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Response

Postby PsyGuy » Sun Feb 03, 2019 2:28 am

How old is your child (are they very young) and do they have any respiratory conditions or sensitivities, prone to sinus or throat infections? Is this a standard 2 year contract and could this potentially be a much longer appointment (is this an IS you would retire out of?)

If any of those answers are yes I would strongly reconsider. If its all no than an air purifiers for your residence should address your major concerns.
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Re: Bangkok Pollution

Postby mathman85 » Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:30 am

Thank you both. He is 4-years old, loves to play outside with his friends especially over the weekends. It's a 2-year contract, but we'll definitely reconsider if the air quality gets worse as my wife is mildly asthmatic.
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Re: Bangkok Pollution

Postby shadowjack » Sun Feb 03, 2019 8:06 am

Mathman, we have been in Bangkok at different times. When Indonesia is burning the forest the air in Bangkok (and other places in SE Asia) can be quite hazy and AQI not great. Other times it is fine.

As mignash says, get a good air purifier for inside just in case and you should be fine. Bangkok is not horrible for AQI compared to many Asian cities.
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Re: Bangkok Pollution

Postby teacher tan » Sun Feb 03, 2019 8:53 am

@mathman85
sj is blatantly wrong. The pollution can't be blamed on Indonesia nor Cambodia. It's the myopic policies of the local establishment coupled with the excessive use of old diesel vehicles/factories, day-long construction to expand the subway (MRT) and burning of farm waste in adjacent rural areas. Western world environmental regulations simply don't exist here. To the contrary, they just made opening new factories a lot easier. Yes, an air filter might ease some pressure, but you just have to stay indoors somedays.

Here is the latest on AQI from the US embassy in BKK.

https://th.usembassy.gov/air-quality-index-aqi/
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Re: Bangkok Pollution

Postby shadowjack » Sun Feb 03, 2019 4:09 pm

Funny. When I was in BKK the papers were full of the Indonesian burning (a few years back now). You could smell the smoke in the air, faintly. When Indonesia burns the rain forest to make palm oil plantations, it is really stinky. Google it.
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Reply

Postby PsyGuy » Sun Feb 03, 2019 9:23 pm

@mathman85

I would strongly suggest reconsidering, possibly visiting the location for a week or so, call it a pre-move visit and see how your spouse handles it. Mild asthma may very easily become exacerbated very quickly. Its something that could happen within a fe months, and you wouldnt want to leave before the end of the first term for health reasons.
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Re: Bangkok Pollution

Postby mathman85 » Mon Feb 04, 2019 3:50 pm

Thanks PsyGuy. We'll wait and see.
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Re: Bangkok Pollution

Postby falloutmike » Mon Feb 04, 2019 7:29 pm

I'm in the same boat. Got a dream job and so excited for my new school in BKK. I was a little hesitant of the pollution before as we have younger kids. Professionally it's a total win and amazing for my career and future, and also gives us the chance to have my wife stay at home and be financially stable. But hoping the pollution on the little ones doesn't take over all of those wins. It seems as long as you have an air purifier inside its not bad, and it's mostly bad in the beginning of the year and lightens up once it starts to rain as well. I know it will be different than where we are now, wish we could message each other privately on here haha!
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Discussion

Postby PsyGuy » Tue Feb 05, 2019 5:41 am

The problem is you cant live in an air purified bubble, and those who are asthmatic tend to get worse, sometimes the condition gradually worsens and sometimes its rapid, I dont know of anyone who has a respiratory condition who didnt get worse.
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Re: Bangkok Pollution

Postby eion_padraig » Tue Feb 05, 2019 9:39 pm

@falloutmike & @mathman85,

Congratulations on the jobs.

I'd say this is the same decisions people are making for jobs in China. Nothing is locking you into staying if you find it's not worth it to you. If it's a highly regarded school, you can leave in two to three years and find a better option.

I find a lot of people tend to idealize Thailand on this forum. There's a lot to like, but there is plenty of downsides and hassle too that are similar to other parts of Southeast and East Asia, and some that are particular to the country. I wonder how much of that is due to limited time spent in vacation spots in the country.

Eion
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Re: Bangkok Pollution

Postby BM12 » Wed Feb 06, 2019 4:40 am

It is true it has been bad the last few weeks, but having lived in other Asian countries it is waayy better in Bangkok. Asthma and young kids could be a consideration but in general the pollution in Bangkok is in the 50-100 range. Country before was always in the 100-250 range and more often on the high end. While you should surely take it serious (if asthmatic) I feel comments to reconsider a job posting because of the pollution in Bangkok are a bit overdone.
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Re: Bangkok Pollution

Postby mathman85 » Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:49 am

@Eion
We don't idolize Thailand as this will be our time ever visiting the country and we are cautiously optimistic. If the government really takes firm action (which is rare in Asia except Singapore) and AQI improves in the long term, we might consider staying. Money is never above our own health and safety. We have also heard from friends that the general cost of living has gone up significantly and eating out and entertainment expenses aren't much different from Europe.

@BM12
Nobody is overdoing, but relocating with a kid and an allergic spouse is not the same as going solo. The thing with air pollution is the serious after-effects will only be seen years down the line and by that time, it might be a little late. If I're single, wouldn't have started this conversation in the first place.
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Re: Bangkok Pollution

Postby mathman85 » Wed Feb 06, 2019 12:15 pm

I meant this will be our first time stepping on Thai soil.
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