With air pollution levels in Bangkok reaching dangerous levels, forcing residents to stay indoors under the protection of air filters, the country is looking at novel ways to fight the problem of toxic air quality. Among these measures include a fleet of drones deployed into the air to spray water and non-toxic chemicals designed to reduce air pollution levels.
Bangkok officials used this method as part of an experiment to determine whether drones could be used to literally spray the pollution out of the atmosphere, providing much-needed relief to air purifiers, which work harder when cleaning toxic air.
As levels of PM2.5 in Bangkok soared to more than double the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended safe limit, the government quickly announced a “code red”, warning residents to stay indoors.
But Bangkok’s air quality struggles are by no means unique. In the United States, cities such as Los Angeles, Bakersfield (NJ), and New York all suffer from regular spikes in air pollution, causing ground-level smog to form in the lower atmosphere. The World Health Organization estimates that around seven million premature deaths can be attributed to air pollution.
“Long-term exposure to ultrafine particles can induce respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. It increases the mortality rates for people living in highly polluted urban areas,” points out Camfil USA’s Mark Davidson, Manager of Marketing & Technical Materials for commercial air filters and active ASHRAE member and committee participant.
People in cities with a high volume of traffic, such as Bangkok, try to protect themselves from air pollution by spending most of their time indoors under the protection of air filtration systems. Unfortunately, these solutions do little to protect people outdoors, which is why it could be beneficial to explore using drones or other experimental interventions.
The good news is that the drones were able to reduce dust particles, albeit at a modest scale of 10 µg/m3. It remains to be seen if the results can be replicated to cover a larger area and capture more airborne pollutants.
To learn more about how commercial air filters can improve indoor air quality in buildings and homes, get in touch with the team at Camfil USA. You may also browse through our catalog to explore the wide range of high-quality air filtration solutions for yourself.
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