The high level of dust particles at this time of year has shown no signs of improvement and it is posing problems to human health in both the short and long term. The first thing that we can do is to try and protect ourselves from the health hazards of PM 2.5. As students’ health is a priority, CMU is working to increase ‘safe zones’ within student dormitories, using a concept called the ‘Clean Air Innovation for Student Dorm Rooms’ engineered by the Energy Research and Development Institute of Nakornping (ERDI).
The project called ‘Clean Air for Student Dorm Rooms’ by ERDI aims to create dust-free rooms in which the levels of contaminants in the air are controlled to a greater degree for greater health safety, starting with the designing of and installation of dust nets and curtains at the windows, as well as a Wi-Fi-controlled ‘clean air addition system,’ which is designed to increase safe zones in 2,700 rooms in 16 dormitories. Students will also be able to keep track of the air quality, using the dust and particle counter located on the dormitory’s ground floor.
In addition to making dorm rooms safer, CMU is also providing common space ‘Clean Rooms’ for all sectors across campus during the hazy season.
Wearing masks is another way for students to promote better health. The Student Development Division, in partnership with the CMU Development Foundation, is giving away two free masks per day to students. Students can register via the QR code on CMU Mobile Monday through Friday, from 9 am to 5 pm, and if chosen they can pick them up at the SD One Stop Service, located at what is formally known as the CMU Student Union Activity Zone.
As the main agent in providing academic support and connecting all parties in an attempt to find sustainable solutions to air pollution, CMU has been working with internal and external agencies. The CMU Academic Centre for Air Pollution in Northern Thailand (AcAir CMU) works to integrate knowledge and research to address the problem with the Chiang Mai Province, as well as to designate pilot areas to test any possible solutions in any number of different dimensions. For instance, the CMU Model seeks to create model communities by educating people about the impacts of air pollution and basic self-care during the hazy season. In terms of equipment, CMU has also been providing positive pressure masks, such as the MasquraX and the anti-dust face mask, Flowmax, for firefighters. On the IT front, a CMU-developed dust detector, Dustboy, has been installed nationwide to give a comprehensive overview of Thailand’s air quality data.
In the near future, AcAir CMU will install the CMU Mask Smart Machine that gives out free masks to CMU students and staff. It can also check the current PM 2.5 level using the CMU Air Quality feature, as well as to locate Clean Rooms on the CMU Mobile app, which are available for both Android and iOS devices.
For the public, there is an official Line account – Air Quality by CMU, which provides free updates about the air quality and PM 2.5 levels. Nong Fah Sai, a blue elephant mascot, gives reports about the air quality index and the overview of the PM 2.5 levels in Thailand during the hazy season, which particularly affects the northern region from January to April. Users can also check for safety zones, the three-day AQI forecast, in addition to the hotspot data to stay informed, alert, and well-protected.