1. When present in high concentrations, air pollutants like dioxide, particulate matter, ozone, carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide can affect the body's normal functions. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) has set standards for ambient air quality to protect public health. The Air Quality and Noise Management Bureau uses the USEPA standards to assess Thailand's ambient air quality.
2. In the past, smoke contamination episodes have mainly occurred from May to October. We will likely be affected by smoke contamination when forest fires in the region and the prevailing southwest Monsoon winds blow the smoke from the fires in our direction.
3. UWC Thailand will follow the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Education or other government agencies regarding restrictions on outdoor activity and the closure of schools. These actions should be coordinated with the other international schools (this could be an issue during national school holidays).
Pollutant Standards Index (PSI)
4. PSI stands for 'Pollutant Standards Index'. It is an index developed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) to provide accurate, timely and easily understandable information about daily levels of air pollution.
5. The ambient air in Thailand is monitored through a telemetric network of air monitoring stations strategically located in different parts of Thailand.
6. The monitoring stations measure air pollutants such as sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, carbon monoxide and particulate matter called PM10 (particulate matter of 10 microns or smaller). These pollutants are used in the determination of the index.
7. When a 3-hr PSI reading is released during the smoke contamination periods, it is for air quality for the immediate past three hours. Therefore, it does not correspond to what you may observe when you hear the PSI announcement.
8. Poor visibility does not necessarily mean higher particle levels in the air. Poor visibility can be due to many reasons, e.g. presence of mist, sun reflection etc.
9. The Health & Safety Officer is responsible for monitoring the air quality. UWC Thailand will use the air quality monitor on campus, along with other sources of information, the Air Quality and Noise Management Bureau National website and IQ Visual website to monitor the PSI levels. Monitoring should be done daily and more frequently as levels rise.
10. The Physical Education department and coaches must ensure that they know students with respiratory problems and exercise discretion regarding their involvement in activities.
11. UWC Thailand's air quality index is stated below:
12. During term time, if an air quality problem becomes apparent, parents will be notified via the School communications systems that the School is monitoring the situation. During the vacation period, parents and staff will be informed by email. A notice will be posted on the school's website in both cases. The Board and PSG should also be informed of the action taken.
13. Should a situation arise during term time where we must send the students home during the school day, parents will be informed by SMS. Parents will be notified that teaching staff will remain on campus to look after students until arrangements can be made to transport them home. Boarders will stay in school, and the house parents will notify their parents. Additional staff (Admissions Department and Secretary) will be required to answer the telephone. An automatic telephone message will be placed on the system, and the bus office will be alerted.
14. Should the levels exceed 150, parents will be notified via email of the School's plans should PSI levels rise further. In addition, a notice will be placed on the School website.
15. At each stage, as the measures are implemented, parents and staff will be informed either by email or through the School website of actions taken.
16. Parents and staff will be informed by email of the intention to reopen the School. A notice will also be placed on the website. The decision to reopen the School on a particular day will be made at 3:00 pm on the previous day at the latest.