Bangkok says work from home as pollution blankets city

Bangkok city employees have been told to work from home to avoid harmful air pollution, as a layer of noxious haze blanketed the Thai capital on Thursday.

City authorities asked for cooperation from employers to help workers in the city of about 11 million people avoid the pollution, which is expected to last into Friday.

The air monitoring website IQAir ranked Bangkok among the 10 most polluted cities in the world on Thursday morning.

Levels of the most dangerous PM2.5 particles—so tiny they can enter the bloodstream—were more than 15 times the World Health Organization’s annual guideline, according to IQAir.

Bangkok governor Chadchart Sittipunt said late Wednesday that all city employees would work from home on Thursday and Friday.

Air quality in Thailand regularly plummets in the early months of the year as smoke from farmers burning stubble in the fields adds to industrial emissions and vehicle exhaust fumes.

For many Bangkok residents, working from home is not an option.

Jarukit Singkomron, 57, a motorcycle taxi driver on one of the capital’s busiest streets, was working despite his allergic reaction to the pollution.